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Training center for first responders secures $3M in federal funds

Updated March 17, 2022 - 7:05 am

An expansive training center for first responders in the northeast Las Vegas Valley has received $3 million in federal funding via the omnibus funding bill signed recently by President Joe Biden.

Tom Kovach, executive director of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Foundation, credited Sens. Jacky Rosen and Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., with helping secure the new money for the Reality Based Training Center, 7370 E. Carey Road.

“They understand the importance of (the training center) for the safety of everyone who lives and works here, and also the tens of millions of people who visit here,” Kovach said.

The training center is expected to help first responders, including Las Vegas Valley police officers, better prepare for complex public safety threats such as acts of terrorism or a mass shooter like the one who killed 60 people at Route 91 Harvest festival shooting on Oct. 1, 2017.

The project is years in the making and includes administrative offices, classrooms and simulators for training of police, firefighters and other first responders.

An adjacent, larger indoor tactical training village remains under construction.

The $3 million in federal money will be used to help pay for the buildout of the tactical training village.

Kovach said the foundation is trying to raise $10 million more to complete the first two phases of the project, covering all costs for the first two buildings that encompass nearly 200,000 square feet of space. Donations are being sought from the public, foundations and local governments to help pay for it.

Plans also call for an expansion of the training facility in the coming years with the help of public money.

Officials have requested tens of millions of dollars from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that would be distributed through Las Vegas, Clark County and Nevada governments if approved.

That money would also help pay for an emergency vehicle operations course. Nellis Air Force Base has set aside 200 acres of federal land off Hollywood Boulevard on the southeast perimeter of the base for the vehicle training facility.

Police said that this aspect of the project will help first responders train on patrol cars and SWAT vehicles, while firefighters will practice on fire engines and ambulances, and Air Force personnel will train on Air Force vehicles.

Contact Glenn Puit by email at gpuit@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter.

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