Hillsborough County
David Gee, Sheriff
Tampa, FL
  • The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is building a city.

    Tactical City to be precise.

    This innovative and unique project is under way at our Walter C. Heinrich Practical Training Site in Lithia. The training site is renowned for its quality facilities and accessibility. More than 80 law enforcement agencies from around the Southeast utilize the site for training.

    Tactical City will enhance the training site’s appeal to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Once completed, Tactical City will be a detailed, functioning version of business and residential environments. The purpose is to provide law enforcement officers with training scenarios as closely resembling real life situations as possible.

    Tactical City, under construction since early 2009 and connected to the expansive driving pad, is being built in phases.

    Phase 1 involved the installation of streets resembling those in a neighborhood as well as straight-aways in a rural setting. Fully functioning traffic signals will provide more realism at three intersections. The street training will include scenarios involving pursuits, reconstruction of crashes and  traffic enforcement. Also constructed was an observation tower, where instructors will monitor the scenarios and even control the traffic signals remotely during training events.

    Phase II is under way and involves the placement of various structures in the city.  Currently there are two modular houses on site, a one-story  and a two-story. Both houses were donated to Tactical City by Jim Walter Homes.

    The houses will provide deputies with training scenarios involving domestic issues, burglaries and other events most likely to be encountered during their calls for service. The two-story house will afford deputies the opportunity to train in situations involving a stairwell, for example. Our specialty teams, such as SWAT, can utilize the houses to practice search warrant entries and barricade situations. In addition, Sheriff’s cadets will use the houses for training in crime scenes, evidence collection and scene preservation.

    In the coming months, Tactical City will include commercial structures built to resemble a bank, a convenience store and a fast food restaurant. Plans call for the purchase of a prefabricated strip shopping center to provide for enhanced training scenarios.

    All of the structures will allow for deputies to train using simmunitions, which are paintball-like bullets which cause the pistol/rifle to function similar to a real weapon.
     
    The goal for Tactical City is to have it up and running by the end of summer 2010. The city will allow for all ranges of training, including the potential for night training scenarios.

    Tactical City will be an evolutionary project, with structures and designs replaced and revised based on training needs and requirements.
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