Erie County Sheriff Howard Unveils New Tactical Training Center.
Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard announced today the official opening of the Sheriff’s Tactical Training Center. This new facility includes two new automated firing ranges with individual control towers, classroom facilities, a live shoot, new bullet collection areas behind the practice targets as well as a higher and thicker safety berm. The old range also saw improvements to the sniper deck and a third range.
This $2 million upgrade was initiated when the Buffalo office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation provided $800,000.00 in initial funding which provided for many of the improvements. It also was a step toward having a local facility in which to train its special units and field agents. The Sheriff’s Office, working with the legislature, county executive, and other county agencies provided additional funding for electrical, plumbing and site work improvements; some of which came from seized asset monies recovered from convicted drug dealers.
Today, the tactical training center is utilized by the Sheriff’s SWAT Team, Bomb Squad, Road Patrol, and Jail Management Division for specialized training and yearly firearms qualification.
Sheriff Howard explained, “This facility started with a mound of dirt and some targets, and today we have one of the best tactical training centers in the northeast. This facility allows my deputies and special units to train for a wide array of scenarios and become highly proficient in active shooter response.”
The live shoot house, the centerpiece of the upgrade facility, allows teams to train at real speed and use live rounds and best simulates a real active shooter or hostage rescue incident.
“Today, law enforcement agencies have to train for an ever-growing number of threats and all level of law enforcement officers must be able to prepare and train with the best equipment and at the best facilities to respond to these threats,” states Howard. “And with the FBI partnership, the commitment of my office, and other county leaders, we have one of the best facilities around.”
The training center is also utilized by other federal law enforcement agencies, Erie County Probation, Erie County Emergency Management Services and area police departments making the Sheriff’s Tactical Training Facility a regional asset.
The Facility is used year-round where the old range was subject to seasonal weather conditions.