LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo --- The squad car speeds inside. Officers jump out into darkness and fire at targets across the room. This scenario will soon be played out inside the brand new Lee’s Summit Training Center and Detention Facility.
The $8-million dollar building is connected to the Lee’s Summit Police Department at 10 NE Tudor Road. Overwhelmingly approved by voters in November 2010, the no-tax bond paid for the construction of the facility. Initially the police department considered building a separate training facility in a different part of town but soon realized they could combine it with the new detention facility to save money.
“We’re really excited about the new building, especially the range,” said Officer Beth Glover of the Lee’s Summit Police Department. “As officers, we love to shoot and we’re really looking forward to being able to get down there and have a better training experience than we’ve had in the past.”
Until now, Lee’s Summit officers were given one eight-hour day to go shoot at a range in Sugar Creek, Mo., to work on their firearm certification. They would stand in the heat or cold and train with all of their side arms. Now Lee’s Summit officers can shoot at targets indoors year-round while working on real-life situations.
“Our new range is going to provide us the opportunity to pull in with a squad car, to jump out, to shoot moving targets in darkness, in light, in heat and cold,” Officer Glover said. “It’s really a great opportunity for us to advance our skills.”
Steel plates hang from the ceiling and line the back wall, and recycled pieces of rubber tires behind the targets create a cushion to catch the bullets. Officer Glover said they will soon begin renting out the shooting range and training space to other area police departments for their training purposes.
Besides the shooting range, the training classroom has also been expanded. New technology allows officers to be more comfortable while learning the latest on policing procedures.
“The training facility is definitely a huge blessing for us and we look forward to getting good use out of it in the future,” said Officer Glover.
The new building also houses the Lee’s Summit detention facility. Crews razed the old jail and built a brand new one with double the space. The cells are now up to federal standards; men, women and juveniles are all separated by space and sound. There is also a holding cell where officers can put multiple people awaiting to be booked. Officials say the extra room will help officers stay safe while processing those people they arrest.
“It helps for safety reasons,” Officer Glover said. “We have a small number of officers working. We want to make sure we provide them the best safety opportunities possible when dealing with a large number of prisoners.”
The new facility is now open.