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County mulls new RCPD training facility

By Stephanie Casanova

Riley County police are exploring a stand-alone training facility in addition to moving their shooting range to Fort Riley.

Brad Schoen, RCPD director, told county commissioners Thursday the department along with Leon Hobson, public works director, has looked at the possibility of building a training facility either near the Riley County Transfer Station, south of Fort Riley Boulevard on Moehlman Road, or near the Riley County Public Works offices on Tuttle Creek Boulevard and Marlatt Avenue.

Schoen said the transfer station would be a more convenient location between the two because it’s closer to the RCPD station, which is off Fort Riley Boulevard on Seth Child Road. Commissioners told Schoen and Monty Wedel, planning and development director, to start talking to property owners in that area to get a feel for whether they would be OK with a new training building in the area. None of the training would involve shooting, Schoen said.

Commissioner Ron Wells said he is not sure whether a large training building near the Public Works office would benefit the county because there have been discussions about moving the county fairgrounds from CiCo Park to that area in the future, as the fair continues to grow.

Schoen said discussions of a larger training facility started because the department doesn’t know how big of a building it can have on Fort Riley. The county is drafting an agreement with Fort Riley for RCPD to use a shooting range on base. The department would need a building near the shooting range but Schoen said the county might not want to invest in something too big or permanent on post. Schoen suggested the county look into building a small facility on Fort Riley and building a permanent 17,250-squarefoot facility off-post so the department could stop using other facilities.

Officials didn’t discuss a potential cost for the new facility. “We’ve been saying for quite some time that we need a facility large enough to do some training out of, to conduct our physical training because we’ve been, in essence, mooching off people all around town for years and we’re down to our last provider now,” Schoen said. “But invariably what happens is we use those for a few years and they get tired of us and we can’t go there anymore.” If the department only built a training facility at Fort Riley, Schoen said staff would be trying to get on and off of base for more than just the shooting range. The security at Fort Riley’s gate would slow down the department and require additional time and resources, he said.

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