There are multiple viewpoints on how to mold a person into an exceptional employee or leader. Some speculate the best way is with a balanced formula, such as “exceptional staffing plus high-quality classroom materials, multiplied by hours of study, equals bona-fide leader.” This applies to most professions, but for one like law enforcement, it’s especially important for the equation to also include “real-life,” scenario-based training exercises, and opportunities to continuously remain physically fit and ready for duty. Law enforcement is a world where training can never cease, where development of leaders can never fade, and where the training equipment and facilities must be sophisticated enough to mimic critical life-and-death situations. Due to the exceptionally high-quality training the Sacramento Police Department is committed to, its employees are able to provide the best possible service to the community, as well as progress professionally in their careers through continuous skill building.
Recently there have been many advances in the training amenities at the Northern California Regional Public Safety Training Center. This one-of-a kind facility, located at McClellan Park, is known as the Joint Powers Authority (JPA), or “Academy” to its members – the Sacramento Police Department, the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department, Sacramento City Fire, and Metro Fire. The Center, available to serve the public safety needs of Northern California, enables each of its members to run their academies and conduct in-service training for their existing employees at this location. (The Sacramento Police Academy also trains recruits from other police agencies in California.) To handle the demand, the Center has recently completed two major projects – a professional, all-weather track, and a state-of-the-art tactical village; and will soon be able to boast two more – a new firing range and canine training area. Here are some details on each of them:
The new, all-weather track surface allows for cardio-vascular fitness training throughout the year. The rubberized running surface is identical to surfaces installed at many high schools and colleges. The track has enhanced the training capability for the member agencies by eliminating impact injuries from running on the asphalt roadways and parking lots nearby.
Tactical Training Village
The heart of the JPA is the Tactical Scenario Training Village. The Tactical Village is a 17,000 square foot, state-of-the-art live, virtual constructive modular training simulator. Custom built and designed to meet the needs of the region’s law enforcement and first responders, the simulator includes movie-set designs and life-like props which replicate the interiors and exteriors of various types of buildings.
With its limitless configurations, any scenario can be created including a home environment, a bar scene, or even a school setting. Audiovisual equipment is also installed to permit the recording and playback of exercises for analyses. These features provide an intensity of training that really builds skills making officers ready for anything!
The range at the Training Center is currently equipped with sixteen lanes and has both indoor and outdoor applications. Construction is to begin this year on additional range facilities including multiple rifle, shotgun, and handgun areas. These additions will increase the number of lanes by forty, and will make it one of the largest ranges in the region.
K9 Training Facility
When it comes to acquiring new facilities, sometimes we have to be resourceful! The new canine training area being constructed at the northwest corner of the JPA near the running track, is just such an example of collaboration with many supporters. Knowing that most of the police K9 units in the area did not have their own K9 training facilities, the goal was to build a facility that would be open to all of the K9 units in the region who wanted to participate. Through the non-profit Sacramento Police Canine Association (www.spdk9.org), funds were raised and sponsors acquired to recently start building the training facility. It is over one acre and includes a 15,000 square foot field for obedience, control, and apprehension training, along with an area for a new (yet to be built) challenging agility and obstacle course. Adjacent to the field is a large paved area for canine training involving Code-3 driving, felony vehicle stops, and vehicle retention and deployment. Kennels will be available on site while the dogs are training. The canine training facility will be accessible to all participating public safety canine units regionally for basic canine handler schools, maintenance and special canine training including conferences and seminars. The facility will enable SacPD canines and their handlers to continue their excellent service to the community and their award winning skills.
Appreciation goes to all supporters including major sponsor, the Rotary Club of East Sacramento, which has committed $7,500 and their members’ labor to build the K9 training facility. Wal-Mart (at Truxel Road) also donated $2,000. Lund Construction and Pestmaster Services along with canine association members, helped prepare the training field for sod. One of the officers even brought out his own tractor one day. Jagur Sod Farm provided us with the sod at a significantly reduced cost.
These are just a few examples of the kind of forward-thinking training, and cutting-edge facilities and tools that produce the law enforcement leaders our community deserves – a concept the City of Sacramento and the Sacramento Police Department is committed to.