New steps announced to increase training and safety for Kentucky law enforcement

(JAROMIR CHALABALA | Envato Elements)
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 10:56 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Ky. (WYMT) - As part of the new state budget bill, Gov. Andy Beshear announced some new steps his administration is taking to help keep law enforcement officers safe and better trained.

On Friday, officials announced work on a new $28 million multi-purpose training facility will start soon on at the Department of Criminal Justice’s training site in Richmond on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University.

The facility will include a 50-yard, 30-lane firing range designed for officers to learn and practice de-escalation and interpersonal communication skills. It will also allow them to have real-life training for several other scenarios like critical decision-making under stress, formulating a different response to potential deadly-force encounters and using team tactics with less-lethal responses. Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2023.

Another funding initiative includes $2.5 million for a feasibility study for an additional training site for law enforcement officers in Western Kentucky. EOP Architects is working on that and will present it to state officials in September.

“We are reaffirming our commitment to the safety of Kentucky’s law enforcement community,” Gov. Beshear said in a news release. “This is why we are further enhancing the commonwealth’s law enforcement training abilities through the recently enacted state budget, allowing our officers to better safeguard our communities and themselves.”

Finally, the budget will provide more than $3.7 million to increase the annual training stipend for law enforcement officers to $4,300.

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