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Prince William County to acquire Elite Shooting Sports in Manassas to advance police training

Prince William Board of County Supervisors has approved a contract to acquire Elite Shooting Sports, at 7751 Doane Drive in Manassas to expand training for the PWC Police Department. The owner of the current facility is seeking to retire and signed the contract with the County for purchase, estimated at $22 million, about $6 million less than the estimated cost of a new facility. Minimal alterations would be needed to allow training to begin much sooner than a new facility, a PW Police Department news release said.

According to the news release, the acquisition “will expand and enhance tactical training for members of the police department. Based on the contemporary and innovative design of the facility, the agency will transition training seamlessly with minimal renovation and without the delay of a new build project.”

The police department’s current Pennington Range on the grounds of the Public Safety Training Center in Nokesville was constructed 28 years ago, in 1995,  when the agency’s authorized strength was just over 300 officers. Now, according to the news release, the 20,000 sq. ft. facility “is in need of significant expansion and renovations to meet the demands of a growing County and police department.”

With only one training bay and 12 lanes capable of training within 50 yards, the release went on to state that “the range is inefficient in providing officers with the necessary skills, space, and tools needed in modern policing. The facility also only has space for one classroom, and limited space for offices, storage, weapons maintenance, and parking. Since the current range is outdoors, weather and complaints of range noise in the community can impact needed training.”

Elite Shooting Sports, constructed in 2014, is indoors and would expand space up to 65,000 sq. ft., allowing for additional flexibility and growth. This facility has four bays, with up to 42 lanes for training at distances between 25 and 100 yards. In addition, the facility provides adequate parking, has four classrooms and sufficient areas for offices and workrooms to meet the demand of an agency with an authorized strength now of 700+ officers. It also has areas for advanced simulation training needed for continued skills development.

“This facility offers our officers the training needed in today’s environment without undue cost and delays experienced with a complete new build,” said Chief Peter Newsham,  “Adequately training officers has never been more important than it is now. This facility is a win-win for the police department and the community we serve.”

According to the PWPD news release, the Elite Sports facility “will provide a state-of-the-art, advanced training facility that addresses the safety, environmental, and capacity limitations of the current facility. It will also create ample opportunity for future growth of the PWPD and the other agencies mandated to receive training at the facility. The acquisition offers a more cost-effective and timely solution compared to a future build or long-term capital project. The new facility also would meet the firearms training needs of public safety agencies as documented in previous Public Safety Training Center (PSTC) Master Plan Studies.”

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