Dozens of local law enforcement officers from agencies across the state of Colorado have begun utilizing a facility in Highlands Ranch to train in a variety of tactics. The facility has been described by officials in the Colorado law enforcement community as one of the best places to train officers in the various aspects of catching criminals and saving lives. The Highland Ranch Law Enforcement Training Facility is considered the top training site in the state and features eight shooting ranges that are used by local law enforcement officers throughout the week. The facility is ideal for such tactics like sniper training, officials, say because of the expansive nature of the space therein.
The facility covers more than 100 acres and also features what administrators refer to as a “live fire shoot house”. The shoot house is used primarily by tactical teams such as SWAT in an effort to train those officers on things like strategically entering a home or building where suspected criminals could be hiding from authorities. Facilitators arrange scenarios for training officers in which they carry out mock raids and fire live rounds in the rooms. The facility is designed to be as “real world” as possible and features confined spaces and settings that officers might find themselves in when executing real raids.
There is also a multi-acre open field on the grounds where various aspects of forensic investigations can be taught. Law enforcement officers work in conjunction with crime scene investigators to maintain proper protocol of a crime scene. Dave Walcher, Sheriff of Arapahoe County, said that facilitators bury dead pigs in various spots throughout the open field so that officers and detectives can practice uncovering and studying remains. For 2015, law enforcement agencies from all over Colorado will begin using the facility to host police academies.