Written by Janalee Luke, Emery County Sheriff’s Office
Thanks to PacifiCorp Hunter Power Plant, Emery County Sheriff’s Office personnel had a rare opportunity to participate in live fire training on June 24-25.
An old office building located east of the power plant is scheduled for demolition, and through efforts of PacifiCorp personnel, permission was obtained for Emery County Sheriff’s Office to conduct firearms training inside the building. Several planning meetings were held to discuss the safety of power plant workers, contractors and deputies. The training was held after workers and equipment were gone from the area and measures were taken to ensure that no other property would be damaged. Special bullet trap targets were used inside the building, all shots were fired in a safe direction and the strictest safety measures were implemented.
Deputies were able to train in building search, weapons handling and engaging targets with live fire from their regular duty weapons. They trained both individually and as part of an entry team. Firearms Instructor Captain Kyle Ekker stated, “I have trained in half a dozen shoot houses in Utah and surrounding areas. The shoot houses usually have no doors and no clutter. This building had doors intact, hallways and clutter, which is what we usually encounter when we execute a real life search or arrest warrant. The use of this facility brought this training close to the reality of an actual incident. We were able to use live fire and flash bangs, and this was a first in Emery County.”
“This was the best, most realistic firearms training I have ever been to,” said Emery County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Dusty Butler. “We weren’t just saying ‘bang-bang’ or using paintballs,” said Sergeant Dusty Butler. “With the use of live fire, you are more cautious and aware of your weapon and your surroundings. There is just something about shooting inside a building. The compression and the sounds are so different from our outside firearms trainings. A lot of effort was put into planning this training, and I felt comfortable knowing that emphasis was placed on safety.”
“The deputies who participated in this training will be better prepared to deal with law enforcement issues in Emery County,” Captain Kyle Ekker said. “We all extend thanks to PacifiCorp for providing the facility for this training . It was a great opportunity.”