State-of-the-Art Firearms Training Center Opens at Samarcand Training Academy


Department of Public Safety Secretary Erik A. Hooks and other state officials held a dedication today to officially open the state-of-the-art Firearms Training Center at Samarcand Training Academy in Moore County.

The North Carolina General Assembly allocated $2.89 million to construct the training center for correctional and probation/parole officers, as well as other law enforcement officials, to receive firearms and tactical training.

Secretary Hooks said the Firearms Training Center will provide the necessary training officers need to safely do their jobs.

“I believe it’s truly a calling, and the very least we can do to help those who answer that call is provide them with the best possible training and training aids—we must give them the very best lifesaving “tools” to put in their “toolbox,” Secretary Hooks said. “That’s why the new Training Center here at Samarcand is so important in helping us to protect and serve the people and communities of North Carolina.”

Some of the features of the training center include:

  • A 3,000-square-foot range house that includes a training classroom with advanced technology and presentation equipment and space for 30 students.
  • A firearms training simulator that can be used to train students on marksmanship and weapon use. This can save thousands of dollars by training in a virtual simulator instead of training with live rounds on the range.
  • A 20-foot-tall range tower that overlooks the entire range area for safety oversight during live fire exercises.
  • Two ranges with advanced steel bullet traps, going from ranges of zero to 300 yards, and designed for all weapon systems up to sniper rifles.
  • A 360-degree turning target system, which will make training more realistic with timed drills and targets that face forward for a limited amount of time, which offer lethal and non-lethal targets that mirror the real world of shoot/no shoot decision making.
  • Both ranges also feature innovative technology in their use of steel bullet traps. The traps protect shooters by directing dangerous ricochets and lead dust build-up into the trap, which protects the environment by collecting lead fragments into sealed containers.

“The extensive commitment by the governor and General Assembly to provide funding for this DPS training facility will allow North Carolinians and visitors to be served by dedicated public servants who have received their training at a premier facility,” said Samarcand Training Academy Director Richard Jordan. “This facility now provides potential savings by having training at one location, which cuts down on driving time, labor and vehicle costs.”

Since its 2015 opening, Samarcand Training Academy has conducted basic, in-service, and advanced training for the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice. NCDPS law enforcement agencies also utilize Samarcand to conduct in-service and advanced training programs, while other local, state, federal, and military agencies outside of NCDPS may conduct training events at the facility.

The opening of the Firearms Training Center and construction of an instructor dormitory that opened last month completed one phase of the renovation of what was the former Samarkand Manor youth rehabilitation center.

In March 2016, voters approved ConnectNC, a $2 billion capital improvement bond proposal that included $8.5 million for the continued renovation of Samarcand. These funds will be used to construct a free-standing dining hall, demolish three dilapidated buildings, renovate four additional buildings, and increase the capacity of Samarcand to 10 classrooms and dormitories to house 165 trainees. The total construction/renovation project is scheduled to be completed by 2019.


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