Currently the training center is located on top of an old landfill the state is requiring the county to close for environmental cleanup.
The department has outgrown its current training center, said Sheriff Gary Gulledge. The classrooms and training areas are too small for the 280-employee department, he said.
Gulledge said the state requires all officers to log 20 hours of training a year.
“You can’t be in this business and not train,” Gulledge said.
The next step in the process is to have the Dallas council vote to deannex the land.
Dallas Mayor Boyd Austin said the county wants control of the land.
The Paulding County Board of Commissioners already has approved a resolution from the Paulding County Industrial Building Authority to consent to receive the land once Dallas City Council releases it.
The site is north of the new Dallas Industrial Park near West Memorial Drive and U.S. Hwy. 278. The county will pay $235,000 to the authority for the land with funds from the 2012 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax designated for public safety.
There is no official design or cost figure at this time, nor is there a definite date for the start of construction, said sheriff’s spokesman Cpl. Ashley Henson.
The new facility will make it less costly because the officers will be able to train in Paulding, he said. Traveling elsewhere to train could double or triple the cost of training, Henson said.
The new facility will be on 50 acres compared to the four-acre site on which the current center sits.
Early plans call for the new facility to be housed in a permanent metal building to replace the current two double-wide trailers, he said.
Plans call for a 20-lane pistol only firing range, replacing the current 10-lane range; as well as a 400-yard sniper training range, replacing a 200-yard range now used.
Items planned for inclusion as funding comes available are an emergency vehicle operations course, a K-9 agility course, an obstacle course, a rappelling tower and a woodland confidence and running course, Henson said in an email.
One item which will stand out is a state of the art live firing house to be built when funds are available. This is a training area in which officers can train with live ammunition in real-life scenarios. Until there are funds the department will use its current house at the present training center.
“There are not many live shoot houses in the area,” Henson said.