Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $350,000)
Rio Blanco County proposes the renovation of its recently closed Detention Center. As part of the plan to transition the facility to the Rio Blanco County Law Enforcement Training Center, Rio Blanco County, will procure physical training equipment and a virtual reality simulator. The simulator will provide law enforcement officers and trainees with virtual reality training involving the most difficult circumstances while maintaining situational awareness during extreme stress. Training situations include but are not limited to an active threat, autism awareness, de-escalation, domestic violence, mental illness, suspicious subject, and traffic stop. Additionally, Rio Blanco County Law Enforcement Training Center will provide officers and trainees with various physical and virtual training equipment, which may include a variety of simulation and taser simulators. It is important to note that this experience will not be limited to law enforcement. Rio Blanco County expects the simulator will provide training opportunities that will be utilized to run authentic scenarios which may be encountered by Department of Human Services Caseworkers, Casework Supervisors, teachers, school security officers, and teachers. Rio Blanco County is located in the northwest corner of Colorado. The Rio Blanco County Justice Center, constructed in 2016, is centrally located in downtown Meeker. The facility is 40,625 square feet, and 35,863 square feet continue to be utilized by the Sheriff's Office and local law enforcement, leaving approximately 4,762 square feet of the facility unused. The unused space within the facility presents a unique opportunity to repurpose the facility as a regional training center for the Western Slope, focusing on Northwest Colorado.