Image Credit: Gov. Bill Lee / Facebook
The Tennessee Conservative Staff –
Governor Bill Lee, along with state legislators and law enforcement officials, broke ground on the new Multi-Agency Law Enforcement Training Academy in Nashville on Wednesday.
Within the next two years, most of Tennessee’s new law enforcement trainees will go through the certification process at the facility.
“As Americans face rising crime nationwide, Tennessee is equipping law enforcement with the tools needed to keep every community safe,” Lee stated. “Unprecedented times call for unprecedented support. I’ve always said that every Tennessean deserves to feel safe in their community, and this shared facility will significantly enhance training and resources that law enforcement agencies need to deliver that quality of life.”
The training complex, which will cost around $415 million to complete, will serve up to 400 cadets, along with 200 staff members. There will be additional accommodations for commuting trainees, and the headquarters for the Tennessee Department of Corrections and the Department of Safety and Homeland Security will be located in the facility.
The new center will be located on more than 800 acres of land owned by the state in the Cockrill Bend area of the city. It will be next to the John C. Tune Airport, Riverbend Maximum Security Institution, and DeBerry Special Needs Facility.
Features of the facility include:
• A track complex that will be used for defensive driving training, a shoot house, maintenance garage, water rescue training pond and rapelling tower.
• A training academy with more than 20 classrooms, a gym, an obstacle course, mock detention pods, a courtroom and simulation training areas.
• Housing for cadets, hotel-like accommodations for personnel, dining rooms and kennel facilities for K9s.
• A firing range complex with four separate ranges, additional classrooms, simulation facilities and storage for firearms and ammunition.
Site grading and infrastructure will be started either this winter or in the spring of 2024. The firing range, training academy, and residence areas will be done in the spring or summer, and the final phase will bring the track complex and headquarters in early 2025.
Agencies who will be using the complex include the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI), Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy (TLETA), Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission (POST), Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security (TDOS), Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) for training local law enforcement, members of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, and corrections officers.
The purpose of the new MALETA facility is to provide easier access to cross-agency collaboration, better training for law enforcement officers, and cost-efficiency.
“The safety of our citizens and the enforcement of our laws is our primary responsibility as a state government,” said Lt. Governor Randy McNally.
The new facility is not the only new investment in law enforcement made by the Governor and the General Assembly. They are also working to increase recruitment of officers to Tennessee, enhance training for new cadets, and fund 200 new Tennessee Highway Patrol positions. Additionally, they have budgeted $60 million to go towards recruitment and retention bonuses, as well as $150 million to be placed in the Violent Crime Intervention Fund.