Today, Mayor Jeremy Stutsman and the Goshen Police Department dedicated the Goshen Police Training Facility to the late Chief Wade K. Branson, #81, a seasoned officer who worked tirelessly to build bridges between his department and the community.
The training site, located at 713 E. Lincoln Ave., will be used for classrooms, hands-on and firearms education, and general police training. The police department will also host classes to include other law enforcement agencies, once all the improvements have been made to the facility.
Sgt. Jeremy Hooley, firearms and tactical instructor for the department, said the acquisition of the site will allow officers to train in a manner that was previously impossible. “We can start in a classroom working on communication, walk downstairs to our physical tactics room to work on less lethal techniques, and then across the parking lot to the range to train with firearms,” he said.
The property, purchased in December of 2017 for $385,000 following approval from the City Council, consists of a 6,250 sq. ft. firing range, a two-story training building (4,500 sq. ft.) and an 882 sq. ft. building that will be used for storage.
Mayor Stutsman said the new center is the culmination of years of work the late Chief put into ensuring his department had all the tools they needed to create a safer city. “Chief Branson had a passion for training and helping others,” he said. “He had a vision of bringing agencies together for the betterment of our communities. This facility will make both possible.”
Police Chief Jose’ Miller said the training facility will allow the department to establish consistent training schedules. He also indicated the department can now host trainers from outside the police departments for Goshen officers. “This facility will allow the department a location to host training courses from outside agencies,” he said. “This will save the department on travel expenses and will open up training spots for officers by providing the training center for course instruction”.