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Columbia Missourian

Today's Question: How can the Columbia Police Department put its new training facility to best use?

By Tram Whitehurst
November 23, 2009 | 9:14 a.m. CST

The Columbia Police Department last week unveiled its new 9,500-square-foot training facility, opening up new possibilities for how officers are trained .

The Columbia Police Regional Training Center, located south of town off of U.S. 63, houses two offices, four classrooms, a large garage and an outside training center that provides space and technology previously unavailable to the department. The new facility allows for high-tech simulations and it has enough space to host large classroom trainings.

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Two of the classrooms currently house a firearms simulator, which uses a projection screen to show officers various scenarios filmed with actors who pose as potentially dangerous subjects. Using the simulator, officers are tested on their knowledge of department procedures, the prudence of their actions and their proficiency with department-issued weapons. Another classroom will house a driving simulator.

The department also plans to host trainings at the facility for law enforcement agencies across the nation. The extra space and available technology make the facility an attractive location for workshops and seminars, members of the department said. The first training, on homicide and crime scene management, will be held in January.

Agencies such as the Boone County Sheriff’s Department and the MU Police Department will also use the space. Members of the Columbia Police Department hope this will improve coordination among the agencies.

How can the Police Department put its new training facility to best use?