The UT Police weapons system training facility is finally getting a makeover. Since its initial construction in 1982, the facility had been showing signs that upgrades were needed to remediate safety and training concerns that had been amplifying.
The basement-style facility at 7777 Knight Road has provided a 4-lane wide by 25-yard length shooting range. This accommodates 4 side-to-side shooters, but not 180-degree shooting, which is vital in training. Behind the shooting lanes is an approximately 100 square foot room for equipment and storage, along with three cages which hold the ammunition supply.
“Our officers are very fortunate to have a facility on-site to practice our skills and to complete our training,” said Roberto Ramos, associate director of operational excellence “Renovating this valuable resource will help ensure that our officers are getting the training they need.”
The facility is primarily used for required officer qualifications exercises necessary to maintain licensure and complete safety training. It supplements more enhanced practice training that police officers conduct at offsite ranges.
The original facility design did not consider advanced weapons and more effective practice and training tactics that have emerged over time. This misalignment of design and function had resulted in accelerated wear and tear on the aging facility. Safety considerations limited training and worn elements introduced unnecessary risk to officers and trainers.
Until now, only emergency mitigation measures such as flooding prevention and air quality systems have been taken to improve the space. Regular maintenance has included periodic decontamination and filter changes necessary to prevent lead contamination.
The renovation work will provide greater safety and impart greater hearing and ballistic protection through the incorporation of Dura-Panel™ ballistic rubber. The replacement of the target retrieval system – the track system on which paper targets are placed – also will enhance safety and decrease downtime for practice setup and maintenance.
These improvements, combined with the evolution of safety and training materials and equipment, aim to increase safety, and enhance officer skill sets.
“UT Police is extremely excited for the much-needed upgrades and repairs to the weapons system training facility,” said Ramos. “We are looking forward to enhancing protection for officer training to best serve our community.”
The 4-month project is set to begin this Spring.