Chandler OKs $2M for new police-fire training center
Chandler has taken an initial step toward building a new public safety training facility that will allow the city’s police and fire departments to share the same site.
The City Council, at its July 9 meeting, awarded a $2 million contract to Phoenix-based McClaren, Wilson & Lawrie Inc., for the design of the public safety training center, which would be built off of Dobson Road south of Intel’s Ocotillo campus.
The property is the current training site for Chandler’s Fire, Health and Medical• Department. The project would add improvements for that department while relocating the police department training to the same campus, creating new shared facilities. The police department training currently is divided among different locations.
“Beside being functional and effective, it’s a great cost-saving measure,” Chandler Police Chief Sean Duggan said.
During a prior meeting, Duggan told the City Council a study of police facilities conducted in 2014 recommended a new facility that would consolidate police-training operations.
By constructing the facility on the fire agency’s site and sharing some buildings, the city will save about $8 million compared to building a separate police facility, Duggan said.
In its 5-year capital improvement budget approved by the City Council last month, Chandler projects about $25 million going toward construction of the facility, about $19 million of that for the police department portion.
Duggan said funding for the police portion is expected to come from general obligation bonds, the sale of city property now used by the department and from funds generated under state forfeiture laws that allow cities to retain proceeds from assets seized in certain criminal investigations. The fire department portion will come from bonds, according to the city’s 5-year capital budget.
Assistant Fire Chief Tom Dwiggins said combining operations will allow both departments to benefit from shared training.
“Any time we’ve had the ability to come together (for training) we found some pretty unique opportunities to put out some very good training lessons with our police officers and firefighters,” Dwiggins said.
Duggan said the first phase of construction would take place in the city’s 2016-17 fiscal year with installation of offices, classrooms and a shared auditorium. The second phase would be built the following year and include construction of a firing range, classroom buildings, tactical village structures and a large-vehicle building.