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Public invited to comment on new Interior Alaska police training facility

Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 4:54 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Alaska Peace Officers Association (APOA) is inviting the public to a meeting to discuss plans for building a new training facility near Fairbanks.

The meeting aims to update residents of the Interior on the progress of finding a location to build the training grounds, costs, plans for the site, and why it is important. North Pole Police Chief Steve Dutra says that anyone who has questions should attend the meeting. Dutra said that he has seen comments on articles posted about the project asking questions, and that this meeting is the way to get those questions answered.

Dutra said that they initially had around 100 sites identified where they could potentially build a training facility. They narrowed that group down to 10 locations. Since the last public meeting they have selected one potential site for the new training facility.

The plan for the facility is to build a shooting range for law enforcement to train. After the shooting range is done, they hope to build heated buildings for additional training. In the future the APOA also would like to build a driving area to train officers.

Dutra said that since their old shooting range at the Fairbanks International Airport was closed down, law enforcement has not had a place to practice shooting. “Why do we need a range for law enforcement? Well these are the kind of questions you can ask and you can get straight answers from us on on exactly why it’s important for us to have this space for us to do law enforcement training, and driving, and shooting and things of that nature.”

Police chiefs from the Interior, Alaska State Trooper Captain Ron Wall, and members of the site selection group are attending the meeting to answer questions.

The meeting can be attended virtually on Facebook, Thursday at 6 p.m.

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