One of the best law enforcement training facilities in the region, relied on by more than 20 other local, state, and even federal agencies, belongs to the St. Charles County Police Department.
Located on Highway 94 south of the Busch Wildlife Conservation Area, the training center includes a live-fire training house with movable walls to practice building search tactics, a 30-lane firing range, an upper and lower classroom, and a SWAT obstacle course. Training provided at the facility is designed to challenge officers with decision-making and skill-building exercises based on real-world scenarios.
“Our training is all data driven. We review incidents from around the country and adapt to those incidents,” explains training coordinator Sgt. Gary Bradshaw. “Your most powerful tool is your ability to communicate. You have to try to de-escalate, but also be prepared for when force has to be used.”
In addition to traditional training equipment, the facility has a virtual reality simulator for practicing verbal communication and reaction time in high-stress scenarios. The officer interacts with virtual people on a large screen, whose actions are controlled by a training coordinator to test the officer’s ability to de-escalate and, if necessary, use force.