Europe’s simulation city for police training

Katowice has become the first place in Europe to have a mockup of a city that police can train in.The Katowice Police Academy mockup, which took a year to construct, includes a bank, a grocery store, a pharmacy, a post office and other structures. It was built where aging garages and other structures once stood.Police will use the structures for various kinds of training, including SWAT-team-type assaults, dealing with hostage situations and other crime scenarios.

Cameras in the mockup city will record recruits’ actions during training exercises. The videos will help them learn from their mistakes.Those who designed the mockup tried to make it realistic down to the smallest of details. For example, the pharmacy has packets of medicines. An electronics shop contains television sets – albeit used ones.

A jewelry shop contains cheap costume jewelry.It took three years for the academy’s managers to make the idea of a mockup a reality, the daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza reported. The facility was dedicated October 5 in a ceremony that drew many regional dignitaries.To spice up the dedication, the academy staged a fake bank robbery for the guests. The 8-year-old academy’s training facilities are among the best in Poland – but it took a lot of work to get there.

The academy started in a former army post whose buildings were decrepit. The gym was in such bad shape that it was closed. It has since reopened. The facility now has a modern shooting range, where trainees can fire small arms as well as automatic weapons.Another useful training tool is a mockup of a room. The walls can be rearranged so the room can simulate an apartment one day, a bar the next, a dining place the next, and so on.But the city mockup is what academy managers are proudest of.

The dedication of the mockup on October 5 drew the governor of Silesia, Tomasz Pietrzykowski; province Director Janusz Moszynski; Katowice Deputy Mayor Krystyna Siejny, province Police Chief Zbigniew Stawarz and other notables.There was no doubt how the fake bank robbery would end. The cops captured and arrested the two robbers. Academy spokesman Jacek Kosmaty said the mockup was created so that all of the Katowice Police Force’s crime-busting efforts would have the same happy ending as the staged bank robbery.

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