WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The Wilmington Police Department held a ribbon cutting for its new training center on Monday, Dec. 2.
The Haynes Lacewell Police and Fire Training Facility is located on a portion of the city’s 46-acre tract of land in the area of Hurst Street and Princess Place Drive near Maides Park. The city broke ground on the $9.1 million project last fall.
“Finally after putting together the vision about what the best training facility would look like, today we’re able to see that reality,” said Linda Thompson with the Wilmington Police Department.
The facility is named after two of Wilmington’s prominent African-American public servants; Sergeant Edward Lee Haynes was one of the first African-American police officers in the Wilmington Police Department and Captain Eric Lacewell is a fallen firefighter.
“It really means a lot to our family because his name will go on forever," said Tyrone Brown, nephew of Captain Lacewell. "He was a mentor of mine, he just showed us the right things to do and the way to do things, its really an honor.”
The 30,000 square-foot facility includes a use-of-force simulator for de-escalation tactics, a driving simulator, a 100-yard indoor shooting range, an indoor K-9 training area and outdoor obstacle course, an armory and classrooms.
“The use-of-force simulator has hundreds of scenarios to train officers on those very stressful, very tenuous situations when they have to make split second decisions on what action to take," said Thompson.
The training calendar will begin at the start of the year but some closed-door scenario training will be done in the next couple of weeks to make sure everything runs smooth.
The public is encouraged to tour the facility and even take Police Citizen’s Academy classes when they get everything up and running by the beginning of next year.