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North Metro Regional Public Safety Training Facility opens for law enforcement simulation training
The facility stands as a testament to the power of collaboration, better preparing officers for 21st century policing challenges
Local, county, and state officials gathered in Maple Grove, Minnesota, to celebrate the grand opening of the North Metro Regional Public Safety Training Facility. The ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the culmination of a transformative project that brings state-of-the-art, realistic simulation training capabilities to law enforcement officers in the region. The $17 million project was made possible through strong strategic partnerships between elected officials and public safety professionals, and was funded by local, county, and state entities. LEO A DALY provided architectural design and engineering services for project.
The civic project comprised a significant overhaul, including a substantial renovation and two additional new wings, effectively tripling the facility’s footprint. Having initially been built in 1992, the 30-year-old facility had outgrown its space, leading to competition from agencies seeking training time. The renovation and expansion addressed this issue, fostering stronger partnerships between agencies and promoting collaboration for the overall public interest of the region.
Todd LaVold, Associate & Senior Project Manager for LEO A DALY Minneapolis says, “A highlight of this project was seeing how the cities of Maple Grove, Plymouth, Brooklyn Park, and Hennepin County came together for the collective good. Serving law enforcement for over 20 local, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and post-secondary institutions in the region, the facility now stands as a symbol of effective cooperation and demonstrates a strong commitment to public safety by all of the communities involved.”
A new opportunity for better simulation training
The revamped facility design is centered upon reality-based, simulation training environments, which provide officers with a safe space to create stressful environments, allowing them to hone their decision-making skills in a controlled setting.
The simulation training spaces within the new addition are smartly designed to interconnect, catering specifically to the increasing expectations for law enforcement agencies to develop more comprehensive and realistic training. Circulation flows from one area to the next, breaking down the compartmentalization of different types of simulation training. New training spaces include:
- A versatile two-story reality-based training space, featuring movable walls, can simulate school environments, hotel rooms, or residential scenarios, allowing officers to practice in an endless variety of life-like environments.
- A state-of-the-art virtual reality simulator featuring a 300-degree screen. This advanced technology enables officers to practice de-escalation scenarios and puts officers in real world, highly stressed situations in real-time using realistic, non-lethal firearms.
- A dedicated mats room for Response to Resistance Training gives officers a safe space to practice self-defense training and use of force training.
- A secure and protected exterior alley space facilitates simulated traffic stops and incident simulations. The design of this space prioritized keeping the surrounding neighborhoods undisturbed and ensuring officer safety during training.
A renovation that prioritizes officer collaboration and safety
The renovation of the existing building provides vital upgrades, bringing the current facility to modern standards while adapting existing spaces to encourage conversations and post-training debriefs. The new lunch area was important to the renovation allowing further comradery and mixing between law enforcement agencies. Classrooms are renovated to be adaptable to current and future needs and allowing for a variety of class sizes, types, and virtual locations. Upgrades to the existing shooting range offer better acoustic comfort to mitigate reverberation and unsafe sound levels, reducing the physical stress trainers and officers alike can experience. The new 12-lane, 50-yard state-of-the-art range features air filtration systems that reduce lead exposure, creating better energy performance and a safer environment for training.
The project follows the State of Minnesota B3 Guidelines for sustainability and the substantial reduction in energy use intensity (EUI) reflects the state of Minnesota’s commitment to environmental responsibility. The design of this simulation training facility resulted in a 70% reduction in energy usage compared to an existing building of the same type.