HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) — The University of Kansas has big plans to expand and modernize the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center (KLETC) near Hutchinson.
The plan calls for a new curriculum with more hands-on, scenario-based training, interagency training, and capacity for more students. The Kansas Board of Regents has already signed off on it. It will go to the Kansas Legislature next.
“There is no more important government function than effectively enforcing its laws,” said Darin Beck, executive director of KLETC, in a statement. “We are seeing the consequences nationwide of what happens when law enforcement isn’t done well, it tears apart the fabric of our society.”
Newer buildings would have emergency vehicle operations courses, an indoor firearms range, and a tactical village.
“The planned facilities create places where we can conduct coordinated, combined training of public safety services,” Beck said. “This represents what real-world incidents in Kansas and elsewhere look like, such as the Greensburg tornado and other natural disasters, a terrorist attack, a school shooting or other active shooter situations, and other modern threats. These are clearly scenarios we want Kansas first responders to be well-prepared to handle.”
Beck says the plan also calls for expanding dormitory, dining hall and classroom space.
KU will work with lawmakers to get approval and to work out funding.
“There are a number of ways to pay for this kind of important project, including options that don’t draw on funds from taxpayers,” said David Cook, vice chancellor of public affairs and economic development for KU, in a statement. “We are eager to explore all avenues with our state leaders and their decision on the best option.”
If approved, the project will span 20 years and will cost $200-$250 million.