DOTHAN, Al. (WTVY) - The Wiregrass is about to get a whole lot safer thanks to a new public safety center in Dothan. The new complex will centralize practical training for emergency responders in the Wiregrass. But, it's not just for cops and firefighters, it will also provide you with programs to prevent crime and save lives.
"There’s very few like it in the country and as comprehensive as we are and no pun intended but it will set the training on fire," said Larry Williams, Dothan Fire Chief.
24 acres under construction but in a few months - an education and training building, drill tower, burn buildings, railroad car training scene, a teach me house, a tactical village, shooting range, and the k-9 center.
"It’s a game changer, it's a state of the art facility that is not only going to be used to making Dothan police officers better but Houston County deputies better," said Steve Parrish, Dothan Police Chief.
Officers taking courses for the state police certification process will do it here.
"It’s a win - win for law enforcement and fire services all over our entire area," said Parrish.
Wiregrass agencies- who used to have travel for critical training - no longer have to - saving thousands of dollars - by keeping it local
"Law enforcement is judged based on a regional aspect, just because you're a police officer in Headland doesn't mean you aren't held to the same high standard as Dothan," said Parrish.
Some rooms will host community outreach programs - like firearms school, and multi-agency response.
"Making our community safer by teaching them things they can do during disasters can really aid them in their lives,” said Williams.
Police Chief Steve Parrish says the training will bond law enforcement and the community together.
"It will bridge those gaps that often times law enforcement has facing them and some of the negativity," said Parrish.
Some of the things that set this facility apart from the rest in the area, a three story - 300 yard sniper range and for firefighters real smoke in simulated events. Plus, The Jubilee Builders Teach Me House will host youth safety programs - such as how to escape a fire and react to an intruder.
The Wiregrass Public Safety Center should be finished this fall.