St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith held a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday (October 18) at the agency’s new "simunition" shoot house.
The purpose of the shoot house is to offer training to St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s personnel and specialized units for urban entry techniques and tactics in both residential and business settings.
Agency personnel will also be able to use the facility to better train for potential active shooter situations through scenario-based training.
The facility will be available to all surrounding law enforcement (local and federal) agencies for training purposes.
In the past, STPSO personnel were forced to travel outside the parish to either the Baton Rouge area or to Mississippi to train at facilities that charge for use and/or presented scheduling challenges.
Locally, this type of training for STPSO employees has been limited to retired ammunition bunkers located at Camp Villere, which were converted for training purposes, but have deteriorated over time.
“This enables us to continue to provide the best training possible for law enforcement in our area,” Sheriff Smith told those present at Thursday’s ribbon cutting ceremony. “This is the best way to train our people for if and when there is an incident. Hopefully we never have to use this training, but we will be prepared if we do.”
The 2,400 square foot shoot house plus a 64 square foot monitor room cost a combined less than $30,000 to build, and construction was agency funded. The shoot house was constructed using inmate labor under the supervision of the STPSO Maintenance Department.