Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions
Public Safety Education and Training Center
6852 4th St, Sykesville, MD 21784-7433
Telephone: 410-875-3400, Fax: 410-875-3582
E Mail: info@pctc.state.md.us
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Driver Training and Firearms Safety Facilities

[Driver Training Building] Driver Training
The first phase of the Public Safety Training Center was the construction of a much needed Driver Training Facility. Opened in September of 1998, the facility will greatly reduce deaths, personal injuries, lost productivity and insurance expenditures associated with police motor vehicle accidents. To this end, the facility is designed to train 20% of Maryland's law enforcement officers each year.

The Highway Response Course is an expandable one mile oval roadway with interior connections to simulate driving conditions. It's varied geometry includes 1/4 mile straight-away, reverse curves, decreasing radius curves, and "broken back" curves. Pavement surfaces vary with asphalt, concrete for a bridge simiulation, chip seal, and graded aggregate. Safety is also important, and large pavement widths allow driver correction as well as recoverable slopes in lieu of a guardrail. It provides flexibility in training with a segmentable course that allows up to three simultaneous exercises, standard state highway signage allows clockwise and counter-clockwise vehicle direction, and a closed circuit television system allows remote observation and taping/playback capabilities.

The Tactical Course is a fifteen acre training area segmented to allow specialized skills and simulation of urban driving conditions. It is lighted to allow night training and also equipped with closed circuit television system similar to the Highway Response Course. The skills training area is an expandable 300' x 600' asphault surface providing flexibility within training programs. An expandable 175' x 300' special asphalt skid pad utilizes smooth surface with water to induce vehicle skidding; it is also sized to allow mutiple use. An urban grid is designed with two signalized intersections, railroad crossing, portable pedestrian mock-up system, and other varied geometry like a cul-de-sac, an offset alley, and a "hammerhead".

Supporting the driving courses is a building complex with 7,000 square feet for classrooms and office support. A simulator room equipped with the Mobile Operation Simulators gives the facility the most advanced driver training available. A maintenance building and fuel depot is also supply provided. Controlled access is a feature of the parking area. The entire complex will continue to be expandable.

Firearms Training
Another training resource of the Public Safety Training Center is the Firearms Training Facility.

[Rifle Range] Completed in Spring, 2000, the Firearms Training Facility provides a safe and realistic venue for training Maryland law enforcement officers in those skills related to the decision to shoot as well as how to shoot. The new facility supplements the current Liberty Lake facility utilized by the Maryland State Police as well as approximately 35 other agencies. The new Sykesville facility also provides a variety of specialized environments necessary to satisfy many important instructional needs.

The facility includes pistol, shotgun, rifle and decision range components, effectively containing noise, pollution and errant fire. An Operation/Classroom Building provides state-of-the-art judgement shooting simulation systems.

Projected Training
The following training is available at the Firearms Training Facility:

Firearms Instructor
This is a two-week school offered twice a yearcovering revolvers, pistols and shotguns.

Simunitions School
(simulated weapons - less than lethal) The factory school is a one-week course on training with simunitions equipment, developing training objectives, lesson plans and safety. The MPCTC facility will also offer simunition training from one to three days in length.

Management Issues on Deadly Force
This is a three-day school for range masters and academy directors, covering needs assessments, development of training objectives, and integration of training topics and controversial issues around the use of deadly force.

Weapons Armorers School
The school is a one-week armorer course for major manufactures of law enforcement weapons. At least two schools will be held each year.

Less Lethal School
This is a three-day course on less than lethal weapons for law enforcement and corrections. Topics include: shotgun beanbags, cannon-nets, chemical agents and Taser-type guns.

In addition to the specific schools, services will be offered to police and correctional officers in qualification, remediation of problem shooters and judgment training. This is in addition to specific requests for specialized training. All courses are approved by the MPCTC for academic and/or firearms training requirements.

[Decision Range]Decision Range
The decision range is comprised of five separate shooting bays, with each bay having four to six reactive targets. In addition to the reactive targets there are stationary targets, a moving target (on tracks) and over 20 barricade positions for each student to maneuver around.

The decision range provides simulation of several street scenes with backgrounds that include bystanders and multiple offenders. The backgrounds and targets can be changed for each new student, and the range can be used by one student or several students. Also, one or more students can use each bay area, allowing for 20 or more students per training session.

This range is an important training element and is an excellent example of a judgment training facility in the state and the region. The ultimate objective in law enforcement and correctional weapons training is to give the officer judgment skills needed to make correct decisions and survive critical incidents.

Pistol Ranges
There are two pistol ranges, each with twenty-five positions. The primary pistol range has a maximum firing distance of 25 yards. The secondary pistol range has a maximum firing distance of 50 yards. Because of the firing distance capacity on the secondary range, it can also be used for shotgun and pistol caliber carbine training.

Each range is subdivided by a filled block wall, splitting the shooting lanes into two groups (one group of ten and one group of fifteen). Dividing each range turns the two ranges into four mini-ranges, when needed. This adds to flexibility for scheduling and use.

The target system is of ceiling-hung pneumatic air design, and features one moving target in each group of shooting lanes. The bullet stop consists of ground rubber, faced in rubber belting material. The system is much quieter and safer than traditional steel bullet stops.

Because the ranges are baffled overhead for safety, each range also has extensive lighting systems. The lighting system, pneumatic targets and sound systems are all controlled from range towers. The range towers are located in front of the dividing walls to the rear of each range, allowing the operator to view both sides of the range.

The pistol ranges can accommodate 50 shooters per day for full-day training sessions. Because of the dividing walls on each range, four separate departments can train each day, adding to the flexibility and utilization potential.

Because the ranges are baffled overhead for safety, each range also has extensive lighting systems. The lighting system, pneumatic targets and sound systems are all controlled from range towers. The range towers are located in front of the dividing walls to the rear of each range, allowing the operator to view both sides of the range.

The pistol ranges can accommodate 50 shooters per day for full-day training sessions. Because of the dividing walls on each range, four separate departments can train each day, adding to the flexibility and utilization potential.

Rifle Range
Currently under construction, the rifle range will provide a 5-position, 200-yard range. The target system will be pneumatic with reactive targets with a grantrap-type bullet stop. The range will include a tower platform with 3 shooting positions, with reactive targets to 50 yards.

When completed, the rifle range will comprise the longest rifle range in Maryland providing full containment of projectiles.

Operations Building
The operations building has two classrooms with a total capacity of 60 students and can be divided to hold two concurrent classes. The building also houses two rooms for critical incidents simulation training. Additional rooms include weapons vault, cleaning room, weapons maintenance room, ammunition storage room and staff office space.

With two simulator rooms and the two classrooms, the operations building can accommodate 80 to 100 students per day for classroom and/or simulator training sessions.

Public Safety Officer Training
Academic and Administrative Complex

We are interested in your comments. Please contact Dan Setzer, 410-875-3466 or email us .
Revised: April 08, 2010
© 2010 Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions