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Albemarle County Newsroom
 


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Dedication Ceremony for New Regional Firearms Training Center Held May 12, 2016
5/12/2016

On Thursday, May 12, 2016, regional partners Albemarle County, Charlottesville, and the University of Virginia unveiled the new Regional Firearms Training Center. The center will provide a state-of-the-art training environment, honing skills in situational awareness and decision-making, to provide a safe and effective law enforcement response to the type of complex threats facing law enforcement today and into the future. This new regional training facility is the result of a strong partnership between the County of Albemarle, the City of Charlottesville, and the University of Virginia.

 "The men and women of the Albemarle County, UVA, and Charlottesville Police Departments, Albemarle County and Charlottesville Sheriff’s Offices, and our local law enforcement partners are excited about advancing our training at the new Regional Firearms Training Center,” said Albemarle Chief of Police, Steve Sellers. “This facility represents a model partnership dedicated toward improved safety for our officers and our community. It's been my honor to have been involved with this project."
 
Special features include:
  • Two eight lane, 50 yard, walk down tactical firing ranges that can accommodate police vehicles, providing for a wide range of training scenarios;
  • A multipurpose classroom and physical training room for training and education;
  • A simulation training room incorporating computerized video simulation equipment for law enforcement training;
  • A weapons cleaning area for firearms cleaning and an armorer’s room for minor weapons repair; and
  • Soundproofing to reduce gunfire and other training noises to an estimated level of 40 dBA, roughly the equivalent to the ambient sound level in a residential neighborhood with some moderate, distant automotive traffic or wind rustling leaves.
“This facility will not only help us ensure that our officers are well-trained when they are serving the community, but it helps us strengthen our already good relationships with our colleagues in Albemarle County and at the University of Virginia,” said Interim Charlottesville Police Chief Gary Pleasants. “We are pleased to have been a part of such a tremendous collaborative project.”
 
This project is a high priority for our region. As we grow and our issues become more sophisticated and complex, joint and multidisciplinary training is increasingly critical. The new facility is envisioned to provide the following powerful advantages for regional safety and security:
  • Opportunity for Regional Training: The new facility will allow for a higher level of multi-jurisdictional training between Albemarle County Police, City of Charlottesville Police, and UVA Police. In turn, the Albemarle-Charlottesville community will realize a benefit, as the partnerships formed in training will enhance the local law enforcement response and handling of large critical incidents. By allowing regional officers to train closely together, this facility ensures a faster and higher level response in the case of an emergency.
  • Location: Currently, the closest available and fully functional training facility is located almost an hour’s drive from the area. Furthermore, locating the training center within the County allows local resources to remain available if needed in an emergency.
  • Cost Effectiveness: The cost for traveling outside of the region to conduct training, including overtime, fuel, and use fees, ranges from about $25,000 – $77,000 per year. Reduction of travel costs will greatly benefit Albemarle County, Charlottesville, and UVA Police. Additionally, construction and operations of the facility are funded jointly through the three regional partners and the project was awarded approximately $2.9 million from the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia, allowing the region to construct a facility that is more superior than what any individual agency could have achieved on their own.
 "The Regional Firearms Training Center is the latest example of the strong collaborative relationship among the University of Virginia, the County of Albemarle and the City of Charlottesville,” UVA Police Chief Michael A. Gibson said.  “This new training facility is a tremendous asset to the three police departments and the men and women that protect and serve our respective communities.”
 
The 19,054 SF facility is situated at a 172 acre site owned by UVa on Milton Road in eastern Albemarle County. The site previously housed an outdoor firing range, which was owned and utilized by UVa. The completion of the new facility will result in the permanent closure of the existing outdoor firing range. All facility operations will be housed within a structure, which will allow for controlled acoustics and ballistic safety.
 
The facility will only be used by local law enforcement and correctional officers, including police and sheriff departments from Albemarle and Charlottesville, the University of Virginia, Joint Security Complex, Airport Police, and Scottsville Town Police. This totals approximately 400 personnel.
 
The public will be invited to an Open House at the Regional Firearms Training Center later this summer, once training and installation is complete. Staff will offer tours of the station and conduct demonstrations. Details will be announced when they are available.

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