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The original item was published from 10/20/2023 3:22:51 PM to 11/4/2023 12:00:04 AM.

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Posted on: October 20, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Spokane County, Fairchild Air Force Celebrate Opening of Regional Training Center


SPOKANE COUNTY, WA – The Spokane County Board of Commissioners and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office were joined this afternoon by Congressional, State and Air Force dignitaries for the grand opening of the Sheriff’s Office Regional Law Enforcement Training Center.  The new facility, located on the West Plains, features a 21-lane indoor small arms range, video training simulators, a 50-foot concrete tower for helicopter rescues and SWAT rappelling, indoor and outdoor K9 training site, and a 21-lane indoor small arms range.

The training center is a joint project in partnership with the United State Air Force and Fairchild Air Force Base (FAFB).  More than 100 people from area law enforcement, elected officials, military leaders and FAFB staff attended the event, toured the facility and watched training demonstrations.

During the event, Spokane County Sheriff John Nowels commented on how the new facility will offer more training opportunities in one location.  “The variety and flexibility of training and classes that will be provided at this facility will not only elevate the regional standards for law enforcement, it will also strengthen our relationship with Fairchild Air Force Base,” Nowels said.

Representing the base, Installation Commander Colonel Chesley Dycus said the partnership between Fairchild and the Sheriff’s Office to jointly fund and build the facility, is the first of its kind in the nation, “Since discussions began about a regional training center on the West Plains, Fairchild Air Force Base has been part of the planning process.  This partnership has been extremely successful and the U.S. Air Force has watched its progress with great interest.” 

The Air Force Headquarters Lead for Partnerships, ToniAnn Fisher representing the Secretary of the Air Force, said this project is being considered as a model for similar projects.  “The Air Force is hoping to repeat the success of the regional training center in other communities,” Fisher said.

The Executive Director for the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commissioner, Monica Alexander, commented on how the training center will be used by regional law enforcement.  “It’s wonderful to have such an exceptional facility on the east side of the state.  It will provide training for multiple jurisdictions and will increase the knowledge base and skill levels statewide,” she said.

Project Manager and Spokane Valley Police Chief David Ellis, said it had been a long road to completion of the facility – but it has been well worth the effort, “After years of meetings and discussions with local elected officials, regional law enforcement, Fairchild Air Force Base, and the contractors it’s gratifying to see how well everyone and everything came together to create a facility that will benefit the entire region.” 

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Regional Training Center cost approximately $41 million.  Spokane County’s share was $26 million and the Air Force paid $15 million, which was used primarily for the Small Arms Range.

For additional information, go to www.spokanecounty.org/sheriff 

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