Polk College opens police training center

Posted at 3:53 PM, Jan 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-09 18:38:25-05
Polk State College opened its state of the art Center for Public Safety on Friday and officers are already putting it to good use.
The $30 million facility includes a city streetscape that can be manipulated into any training scenario imaginable.
There's also an immersion lab where training officers can move walls into different layouts and observe from above.
"You can force them to have stress in a controlled environment. That way they don't have to worry about messing up on the street," said Sgt. Albert Marvin, SWAT commander for the Polk County Sheriff's Office.
Polk State College teamed up with the county to build the 100,000 square foot training center on property donated by the county, which just happens to be right next to the sheriff's office.
"Students in this facility will have access to real life emergency situations," said Eileen Holden, president of Polk State College. "We hope this building encourages people to pursue a career in public safety and help keep the public safe."
The college expects as many as 200 cadets and paramedics in training to graduate form the program every year.
Many of them will then get jobs in and around Polk County.
"If our public safety officials in our county didn't hire our graduates, and help us train them, then our program wouldn't have the value that it needed to have," Holden said.
The college spent more than four years building the state of the art facility. Officials said there is nothing like it in the state of Florida.