Location: 8500 Moore Rd. Littleton, CO 80125 (south gate entry)
Today at 10 a.m., Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock will cut the ribbon and officially open phase-one of the new Liniger Emergency Vehicle Operations Center in northwest Douglas County. More than three years in the making, the new facility will provide Douglas County and other metro-area public-safety agencies a safe place to teach advanced decision making; proper pursuit driving and pursuit termination; communication while driving; defensive driving; day and night driving, inclement weather skills; vehicle dynamics and limitations; motorcycle officer certifications; crash investigation training and the most recent approaches to traffic incident management.
Sheriff Spurlock knows first-hand why this much-needed training site is so important. Beginning in 1988, the sheriff’s office, and many other area agencies, used the abandoned Dawson Ridge subdivision in Castle Rock for its driver safety training. The roads had been abandoned after the development went bankrupt in the 1980’s. Because the abandoned roads received no maintenance, they suffered major deterioration and the owner closed it to use in 2013. As a result, the county began looking for a reasonable and cost effective alternative.
“We owe a special debt of gratitude to philanthropic residents Dave and Gail Liniger, who demonstrated enormous generosity and their commitment to public safety when they donated $3.3 million to the county in December 2016 to make this a leading public-safety driver training center,” Sheriff Spurlock said. Their donation represented nearly one half of the estimated $6.8 million cost to build and equip phase-one of this outstanding facility.
“This facility is essential because emergency responders are not normal drivers. Collectively, our deputies drive over 3.5 million miles per year and must make split-second safety decisions—many while driving. Every aspect of the facility has an engineered purpose and the advanced training we receive here will ultimately make our staff and community safer—it is designed to emulate the community roads that emergency responders must safely navigate every day,” added Sheriff Spurlock.
The Liniger Emergency Vehicle Operations Center sits on 80 acres, provides a 1.6 mile training roadway, a 500 x 800 foot asphalt skills training area, and a smaller 200 x 400 foot skills training area. Owned by Douglas County, the facility will be uniquely managed in partnership with the Highlands Ranch Law Enforcement Training Foundation. And, with an estimated 19,000 teenage drivers in Douglas County, the facility will emerge over the next year as a very unique community asset to also provide a training home for a private teen and senior advanced driver safety program.