LAS VEGAS – The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Foundation has raised $29 million in donations toward a $35 million reality-based training facility, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of next year.
The new state of the art complex is highly touted, and comes five years after the October 2017 shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas that claimed 58 lives — and two more after that night.
Once the project is complete, LVMPD officers as well as personnel from allied agencies will be able receive reality-based training at the advanced $35 million facility.
“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 deescalation, self-defense and other types of responses — in particular to active shooter situations,” LVMPD Foundation Executive Director Tom Kovach told Fox News Digital.
Although the historic mass shooting was impetus for the project, the planning for the training center pre-dates the 2017 Music Festival homicides, Kovach said.
.@LVMPD Capt. Reggie Rader reflects on the 5th anniversary of #1October & community support of the state-of-the-art Reality Based Training Center built w/funds raised by the LVMPD Foundation. The facility at the Joint Emergency Training Institute provides world-class training. pic.twitter.com/czzkRiOZM7
— LVMPD Foundation (@LVMPDFoundation) September 29, 2022
Workers are currently in the second phase of construction, while part of the first stage is already in use.
“The first building, which is completed and operational — that building contains the administrative functions for the training center,” Kovach explained.
Trainings sessions have already been developed and rolled out at the facility, Fox reported.
The first building is larger than 50,000 square feet. It contains “classrooms for classroom-based training” and “mat rooms for physical training, de-escalation training, self-defense training and so forth.”
Moreover, the center features a simulation room that “allows different scenarios to be projected on the walls.” That room “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,” Kovach noted.
Thousands of officers have already received training on a variety of topics in the first building.
The second building will be more than twice the size of the first, at more than 130,000 square feet, once it is complete. It will include indoor, climate-controlled rooms designed to look like authentic convenience stores, hotel rooms, casinos, a school, a gym, a restaurant, a doctor’s office, among other settings where active-shooter scenarios can be trained, according to Fox.
Kovach acknowledged that reality-based training centers are nothing new to law enforcement personnel. However, the LVMPD Foundation’s center is a first-of-its-kind in terms of scale and functionality.
Officers can never have too much training when it comes to high-intensity scenarios, particularly since the public’s expectation to simmer these volcanic real-life problems is greater than ever.
Yet the reality is that no two situations are alike. Therefore, gaining and retaining basic principles and muscle memory to lethal encounters is crucial. This training center will facilitate the process.