A $35-million training facility in Las Vegas is set to open by the end of next year to offer police officers and first responders a first-of-its-kind, reality-based training environment.
The Las Vegas Metro Police Department (LVMPD) Foundation, which raises money for the department, made the announcement of the training center’s progress on the five-year anniversary of the October 1, 2017, Las Vegas mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival that claimed more than 58 lives and injured more than 500. The tragic incident is the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
So far, the LVMPD Foundation has raised $29 million for the center.
“The training facility is being built to address both the need for collective responses to incidents like the country music festival shooting on 1 October, 2017, as well as to provide training for the police department and ultimately other law enforcement agencies so that they can better respond to incidents that require de-escalation, self-defense and other types of responses — in particular to active shooter situations,” LVMPD Foundation Executive Director Tom Kovach told Fox News.
The center is about halfway completed, according to Kovach. “The first building, which is completed and operational — that building contains the administrative functions for the training center,” he said.
The first building, which is more than 50,000 square feet, contains rooms for “classroom-based training,” as well as mat rooms for self-defense, de-escalation and other types of training.
Kovach also noted that the building houses a simulation room that projects different scenarios on the walls. The simulation room, he says, “is broken up into smaller spaces to resemble an apartment or other types of spaces that our officers will get called to in response to an incident.”
So far, the building has allowed for thousands of officers to undergo reality-based training, bleed training and other advanced skills exercises. A maximum of 30 students can be trained per session.
Kovach also further explained the concept of reality-based training.
For such exercises, officers drive up to the building as if responding to an incident in real life. After exiting their vehicle, they enter the building and engage in a role-playing scenario with someone playing the role of victim and another person acting as the suspect.
The LVMPD Foundation said the second building will be larger — around 130,000 square feet — and will include rooms designed to look and feel like convenience stores, casinos, hotel rooms, a gym, school, restaurant and even a doctor’s office.
Officers will engage in active shooter simulations, as well as other personal and citizen-defense scenarios, with the goal to save as many lives as possible.