By Joy Hampton
The Moore American
MOORE — Moore police officers will soon have realistic training in various scenarios encountered in the field, thanks to a new firearms simulator.
The Moore City Council approved the $120,000 purchase for a VirTra Systems Simulator that will allow officers to react as if they are really responding to calls for service, such as domestic violence, burglary and suicide.
“We’ve been wanting to purchase this for some time and have put it off until we had the proper facility,” Moore Police Chief Jerry Stillings said. “It can offer real-life scenarios that we can’t produce on the gun range for safety reasons.”
The new Public Safety Center being constructed at the corner of Main Street and Broadway Avenue is expected to open soon and will have room for the new equipment.
With this simulator, an instructor can make adjustments during the training exercise to better challenge students. The simulator allows for situational training, Stillings said. The police department has saved federal seizure funds to pay for the new equipment.
According to staff notes, “the system uses a full 180-degree, three-screen firearms simulator that utilizes HD video portrayed on the three screens simultaneously to provide a seamless, immersive training environment.”
The city council also approved a $26,000 contract with Ballard-King Associates for the preparation of a business and operations plan for the new Central Park.
Parks Director Todd Jenson said the fitness and aquatics centers need a business model.
“We’re in the very early phases of developing Central Park and that’s a very daunting challenge,” Jenson said.
The fitness center and aquatic center have staffing needs and special challenges. The fitness center has a child care center and workout equipment that will need to be ordered.
“These are all areas that we have no experience in dealing with,” Jenson said. “We cannot take the existing business model with the current community center and apply it to the new recreation center.”
In November 2012, Moore voters approved a $25.1 million bond issue to pay for the park. Bids will be completed this month and construction is expected to start in May. According to city staff notes, the recreation center and aquatic parts of the project will take 12 to 15 months to complete.
Jenson said it’s key for the business model, policies and procedures, equipment and bidding specifications, and staffing plans for the park, recreation center and aquatic park to be developed, starting immediately.
Council members questioned whether the work could be done in-house, but Jenson said no one on staff has experience with a fitness or aquatic center. He said these are major components of the park and need to be done right for the park to be successful.
The council approved the request.
In other city business, City Manager Steve Eddy said 502 building permits for new homes in the storm area have been issued, putting Moore at the halfway point for rebuilding starts.
He also said the drawing for the storm shelter rebate will be done in the next couple of days and people will be notified soon. Because of FEMA rules, those who already built a shelter are not eligible for the rebate.
Joy Hampton 366-3544 jhampton@ mooreamerican.com