By FireRescue1 staff
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LAS VEGAS — Five years after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, Las Vegas law enforcement officers and first responders have a state-of-the-art training facility where they can engage in tactical training, including active-shooter drills.
The first building of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s Reality-Based Training Center opened earlier this year, providing training opportunities for up to 240 first responders at one time.
The Route 91 Harvest festival mass shooting on October 1, 2017, served as the catalyst for garnering support for the training center, which had been on the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s drawing board for years, Tom Kovach, executive director of the LVMPD Foundation, said.
“Our local municipality estimated it would take about 20 years to secure funding and build it,” Kovach said. “So the police department turned to the foundation to make it happen sooner, and our community came together in typical ‘do it bigger, better and faster’ Las Vegas fashion.”
Located on the campus of the LVMPD’s Joint Emergency Training Institute, the first building of the multi-jurisdictional Reality-Based Training Center features 50,000 square feet of dedicated training resources, including mat rooms, classrooms and simulators. The 130,000-square-foot second building, slated to open at the end of 2023, will feature an indoor tactical training village with simulated venues, including convenience stores, casinos, hotel rooms, a principal’s office, gym, doctor’s office and restaurant.
“The Reality Based Training Center is the most important public safety initiative west of the Mississippi,” Kovach added. “In a remarkably short time, law enforcement and other first responders are receiving reality-based training to help save lives and make our community a safer place to visit, live and work. The de-escalation tactics, stop the bleed training and best practices for collaboration are already making an impact on public safety.”
The LVMPD Foundation has raised $28 million of its $35 million goal, mostly from private donations, to fund the center’s design, development and construction.
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