A police training success story. Sheriff’s ingenuity with the help of the local community build a training shoot house from 100% donations.
This story originally appeared in Medford Mail Tribune.
The training house was assembled from materials donated by several area businesses. It sits at the Jackson County Sports Park on Kershaw Road, but the structure is restricted from public use.
The 40-foot-by-48-foot building certainly isn’t a handsome piece of real estate. Its sides already are chipped from bullet holes and the bare plywood exterior doesn’t project all the comforts of home.
But the shoot house gives SWAT deputies a place to practice room-clearing, forced entries and other important tactical skills.
The shoot house contains several rooms that can be altered to give the space a different look for each training exercise.
“When you go into a new house, you have no clue where the rooms are, how big they are and where there are blind spots,” Cicero said. “We want to make this as realistic as possible, while keeping it safe.”
The interior is a wide-open space with several rooms off to the side. Sometimes tables and other appliances are placed throughout the structure to give it the feel of an occupied residence, said Lt. Matt Thomson.
Individually Configured Rooms
“We like to reconfigure the rooms, change things around,” Thomson said. “You never known when there’s a table in the way you can trip on, or something that you might not expect when entering a room. Homes are filled with toys, boxes and other things. It’s unpredictable.”
The shoot house is populated with suspect-shaped targets that are shaded various colors. Certain colors represent bad guys, while others are stand-ins for innocent bystanders.
“Sometimes you might have innocent people inside a home who have nothing to do with the crime,” Cicero said. “You want to keep them safe and target the threat.”
100% Built From Donations
The materials used to build the structure were donated by Boise Cascade and Parr Lumber. Boise Cascade donated 54 sheets of plywood, while Parr Lumber donated several boards, doors and other supplies. In addition, the Rogue Valley Shooting Sports Association donated funds to the project.
“They had a need so we supplied them,” said Mel Weeks, manager at Parr Lumber. “They needed some doors so we worked with a vendor to get them some doors. We try to do whatever we can to support our local police and fire departments. And it keeps the costs down for them.”
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