Virginia State Police has dedicated its new, state-of-the-art driver training facility — the only one of its kind in the Commonwealth. The Virginia State Police Driver Training Complex is located just outside the Town of Blackstone in Nottoway County. It is a first of its kind for the Virginia State Police and, due to its size, unique design and topography, unlike any other public safety driver training course in the state.
The complex includes 4.5 miles of interstate, urban and rural highways. From the interstate cloverleaf to the Urban Response Course’s railroad tracks and cul-de-sacs, the track features asphalt, concrete and gravel surfaces to provide Virginia State Police personnel with the ultimate driver training environment. In addition, the site includes a 342,000-square-foot precision driving course and 25,000-square-foot skid pan to simulate various inclement road conditions.
“When you consider that the Virginia State Police uniformed workforce last year traveled more than 29 million miles on every kind of highway the Commonwealth has to offer, it is essential that our troopers are trained to perfection when it comes to operating a vehicle,” said Virginia State Police Superintendent, Colonel W. Steven Flaherty. “The realistic nature of these courses will be of tremendous benefit to our members in their driver training exercises, especially when it comes to preparing future generations of state troopers.”
The dual-purpose, three-story training building features 60 squad rooms, large-scale classrooms, a full-service cafeteria, offices and meeting space. Most notable is the Driver Simulator room. For the first time in the Department’s 80 year history, sworn personnel will have the opportunity to complement their driver training with the use of three state-of-the-art Law Enforcement 550 LE™ Interactive Driving Simulation Systems. In addition, the building is capable of serving as an alternate emergency operations center for the State Police.
Construction also included a 9,600-square-foot pre-engineered metal vehicle maintenance garage that houses four bays for the care and repair of the VDSP fleet. The project was constructed by KBS and design by Dewberry & Davis, P.C.
“This new facility also greatly benefits the public by aiding our personnel in their abilities to respond to calls for service and by the fact that the complex was built at no cost to the taxpayer,” said Flaherty.
In 2007, the Virginia State Police was awarded $44 million from the federal government’s $634 million settlement with international pharmaceutical companies, The Purdue Frederick Company, Inc., and Purdue Pharma, L.P. The settlement resulted from the company’s fraudulent marketing of OxyContin, a Schedule II prescription pain relief medication. The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation was one of several law enforcement agencies involved in the five-year, complex, multi-state investigation. From the settlement, $27.4 million was allocated for the redesign and construction of the Virginia State Police Driver Training Complex.