Regional law enforcement training center coming to Parsons

Training center will offer classes to agencies in 16 counties.
Parsons Police Department Patrol Cars

Parsons, Kan. – Parsons is picked to be the home of a new regional law enforcement training center. It will be run by the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center (KLETC), and serve agencies in 16 counties.

Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks says having a training center in Parsons will give the agencies the ability to send officers, dispatchers, and others to classes when they otherwise might not be able to.

“I’m ecstatic that we will have that in our community and so close so that we can continue to increase the competency of our staff. And we can reduce the amount of outside city travel or missed training,” says Spinks. “It will originally only have a half-time coordinator who will then bring in speakers from across the state for different topics. But, over time, we hope to see that grow to three full-time staff and eventually be able to produce up to three thousand man-days of training every single year.”

Spinks explains they’re currently looking for a good office space for the center, and says they’d like for the center to be up and running by the end of the year.

Community benefits

Spinks explains that the center will be good for the area in several ways. Not only will officers get more training, but he also hopes it will bring revenue to local restaurants and hotels and make the community safer.

“We’re bringing, you know, 20, 30, 40 people a day into these training classes as the center ramps up. You know, that’s a lot more police vehicles that are inside the city,” says Spinks. “And I’m sure that some of our nefarious, felonious individuals might also take notice that there’s a whole lot more law enforcement in Parsons.”

Vision for the future

The training center coming to Parsons is one piece to a much larger puzzle that emergency services are working to put together. Spinks is working with other leaders in the community to build a new public safety training center, which would put law enforcement, fire and emergency services together in one start of the art facility.

“We own the land, about three and a half acres just a few blocks away from where we are right now. We’ve secured an architectural firm. They actually are going to be doing a kick off with city staff, and are meeting with our fire department and police employees. They’re also going to do some site reviews of the existing facilities, and then they will also be reaching out to some of our potential partners, which will include Labette Community College and Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center,” explains Spink.

Officials hope to use federal grant funding and fundraising dollars to build the center. While the process is still in the beginning stages, Spinks is hopefully they could break ground as soon as 2023.