Writers’ Police Academy Breaking News: Our New Home!

Breaking News: Our new home


Breaking News!

APPLETON, Wisconsin—The National Criminal Justice Training Center (NCJTC)/Public Safety Training Center at Fox Valley Technical College is the new location for the Writers’ Police Academy! We are extremely pleased, honored, and excited about the move.

Here’s a little about the state of the art facility, which, by the way, is brand new! And, of course, this means we’ll be offering even more hands-on workshops, sessions, and live-action scenarios than ever before. This is a one of a kind opportunity for writers.

Dates for the 2015 WPA will be announced soon. In the meantime, you may want to consider marking August 20 – 23rd on your calendars. Yes, that’s a big hint. But DO NOT make travel/flight plans until we set those dates in stone (we’re 99% sure, though).

*Registration for the 2015 Writers’ Police Academy will open in early 2015, and we fully expect the event to sell out quickly. Watch this site closely for details.

“As always, Sisters in Crime is offering a special deal for their members – old and new. And they’ve got a sweet something-extra in store for you if you’re a WPA newbie.”

So, welcome to the new home of the WPA – The National Criminal Justice Training Center (NCJTC)/Public Safety Training Center at Fox Valley Technical College.

New Picture

Classroom/Tactical Lab Building

This 96,000 square-foot building houses classrooms, a well-equipped forensic laboratory, two 25-yard indoor firing ranges, defensive tactics and fitness rooms, a jail training area, indoor technical rescue training area, and a 6-bay apparatus room, as well as staff offices. Other spaces include a conference room, break area, and a large parking lot.


The building has fifteen standard smart classrooms. Seven rooms have a capacity of 24 students and the remaining eight can hold up to 40. A computer lab containing 40 work stations can be separated into two. Adjoining the computer lab is space for a future telecommunications training area. A large multipurpose room can hold 224 people. This room can be split into two, with a movable partition wall. An adjacent catering kitchen can serve meals in the multipurpose room (in either configuration).

Forensic Laboratory

The forensic laboratory is a complete lab with all appropriate equipment for forensic analysis, including fume hoods. The college owns a variety of state-of-the art forensic equipment, including a Leica ScanStation C10 3-D laser scanner.

Firing Ranges (Indoor)

Two ten-lane indoor firing ranges are located at the PSTC. Each indoor range is 75 feet long, and can handle any standard pistol round, as well as .223 and 308 caliber ammunition. Each range is fully baffled, allowing the shooters to move up and down the range rather than being limited to a fixed firing line. Large side doors allow for bringing a vehicle into the range for training. Both ranges have programmable turning target systems. Each range has a control room, and the two ranges are served by a twenty-position weapons cleaning room, an armorer’s room, and secure storage for weapons and ammunition.

Defensive Tactics and Fitness Area

Two 1,600 square-foot defensive and arrest tactics (DAAT) rooms are coupled by a common DAAT equipment storage area. An additional 1,500 square-foot fitness room contains various weight machines and cardio equipment. Men’s and women’s locker and showering facilities adjoin the fitness facility, and are located just down the hall from the DAAT rooms.

Jail Training Area

The jail training area includes a sally port with observation window, booking counter, cells, interrogation room, and an interview room.

Fire Training Area

The fire training area within the PSTC building includes a 6-bay apparatus room for storage of fire engines, ladder trucks, technical rescue vehicles, wildland firefighting vehicles and equipment, an ambulance, and other apparatus as needed. The area houses the Candidate Physical Ability Testing (CPAT) equipment, which is used for testing firefighter candidates.

The facility has a fully functional sprinkler systems lab, which is independent from the actual building system. The sprinkler lab has multiple risers, the most common alarm and detection system equipment, and a fully functional sprinkler head which can be activated behind a glass wall.

The fire area includes storage lockers and racks for firefighting personal protective equipment, an air compressor-supplied cascade system for filling self-contained breathing apparatus, and a cleaning room. Firefighter survival training venues like the Denver Drill and rope and ladders bails have been built into the structure. Additionally, indoor facilities support technician level confined-space, operations level trench rescue, and technician level rope recue training, which is supported by a 32-foot high indoor rappelling and ascending platform.


The administrative area of the building contains a reception area, two large conference rooms, thirteen offices for full- and part-time staff, a work room and storage room, and nine cubicles for support staff personnel. Additionally, there are twelve workstation for adjunct staff including an area for collaboration and a faculty break room.

Outdoor Training Grounds

Firing Ranges (Outdoor)

The PSTC boasts four outdoor firing ranges. Completely enclosed with precast concrete panels and overhead baffles to prevent escaping rounds, each range can accommodate six shooters on the line and can handle any standard pistol round, as well as .223 and 308 caliber ammunition. The two 50 yard ranges are fully baffled, allowing the shooters to move up and down range rather than being limited to a fixed firing line. Large side doors allow for bringing a vehicle into the range for training. The 100-yard and 300-yard ranges range allow medium and long-range rifle training from a fixed shooting position. The 300-yard range has a five-foot tall sniper platform. All ranges have programmable turning target systems, and the 50-yard ranges have programmable “running man” target systems.

Emergency Vehicle Operations Course

The emergency Vehicle Operations Course consist of three major elements:

– Pursuit track measuring approximately 5/8 of a mile

– Skid pad roughly 350’ X 600’ with an irrigation system to flood it

– Skills pad for training maneuvers such as the serpentine, straight line backing, etc.,

The skills pad measures 350’ X 600’ and is rated for a 120,000 lb. vehicle.

The track includes corner/smooth curve options, divided highway, simulated construction

area, recovery zone, and a staging area. The course is designed to teach safe driving and maneuvering of police, fire, and emergency medical vehicles, emergency maneuvers, skids and off-road recovery, pursuit driving and other standard operations. It will be used to teach emergency stopping techniques such as Pursuit Immobilization Technique (PIT), deploying “stop sticks,” and setting up road blocks.

“River City” Simulated Village

The simulated village contains streets, intersections, and residential and commercial buildings. Current buildings include a one-story residence with a full basement, a two-story residence, a branch bank, a hotel/motel and bar, and a gas station. Additional buildings will be constructed in the coming years.

These structures can be used by fire, law enforcement, hazardous materials, and emergency medical agencies for simulated incidents. They are the perfect venue for crime scene investigations of a staged incident, search and rescue for firefighters, and

medical emergencies. Note that the village can be used by multiple agencies and multiple discipline simultaneously. For example, one structure could be used by a training group for clearing the building, EMS could respond to a medical incident occurring at the bank, another group could be making a vehicle contact, while an OWI simulation takes place down the street, and a staged meth lab or growing operation can be processed by investigators.

Decommissioned 727Aircraft

The Boeing 727 airplane offers an array of training opportunities. With a passenger-style configuration in the front half and a cargo configuration in the back, the airplane can support air marshal, firefighter, emergency medical, and K9 training. The non-burnable training venue can be used by airport rescue firefighting (ARFF) vehicles to practice tactical approaches and water and foam application. (Future plans include building an FAA-approved live-burn ARFF simulator.)

Forcible Entry House

At nearly 5,000 square feet, this structure offers a challenging array of rooms and hallways. Coupled with windows and doors that can be breached, multiple entry points, and the ability to use Simunition weapons and flash bangs, along with simulated smoke conditions, this structure has endless potential for all levels of tactical training.

Train Derailment

On the outskirts of the simulated village is a train derailment prop consisting of 150 foot of track, a railroad crossing, and three general service tank cars. One of the tank cars sits upright while the remaining two are configured as they might be found during an actual incident. The cars will be piped to leak water and high pressure air, simulating a hazardous material release. Space is available for additional track and cars, and this prop can be piped for propane to allow live-burn training.

Fire Training Burn Building/Tower

A variety of firefighting and law enforcement activities can take place in the fire training burn building and attached six-story tower. This venue presents several elevations, including a two-story apartment building, a two-story residential home with attached garage, a commercial structure with a flat roof and parapet, and a six-story apartment building. Eight burnable rooms are scattered throughout the structure, including three in the tower portion and a garage with a vehicle inside. A self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) confidence maze is located in the attic; other venues include multiple hallways and doors, large area search area, an operating sprinkler and standpipe system, a six-story elevator shaft with an elevator stuck between floors, and multiple roof ventilation access ports. The facility also incorporates forcible entry doors, a simulated

smoke distribution system, and technical rescue venues.

Technical Rescue

In addition to the indoor Fire Training Area, the PSTC has multiple outdoor locations for

technical rescue training. Many of the firefighting training venues are designed with technical rescue needs in mind. For example, the fire training burn building has multiple anchors set into the floors and ceiling, with self-closing gates and protective stanchions near the rappelling openings. A specific area was designed to support building a high-line. Multiple technicalrescue-specific venues support low-angle and high-angle rope work. A confined space simulator contains approximately 400 feet of piping of various sizes and allows for horizontal, diagonal, and vertical entries or retrievals. A concrete trench rescue venue supports straight, normal operating pressures and contain several built-in wall and lip “failures.”

Flashover Training Container

The flashover simulator consists of two all-metal shipping containers, one being the burn

module and the other an observation module. The flashover simulator teaches firefighters to recognize the warning signs of an impending flashover and understand the limits of their personal protective gear.

Ventilation Training

Roof ventilation techniques can be honed using four simulated roofs at various pitches. A 5:12 pitched roof 18 inches off the ground meets State of Wisconsin Firefighter I Certification requirements. Two other pitched roofs, a 5:12 and 8:12, are situated with the eave a minimum of six feet above ground. The fourth prop is a flat roof 14 feet tall with a four-foot parapet wall.

Each opportunity has one or more cutouts which can hold a standard pallet, allowing repeated ventilation training. Instructors can observe and give directions from an observation deck.

Fire Investigation Burn Pods

Fire investigation training is taken to the next level with the ability to perform an actual investigation as part of the course. Two pods, each containing two 12’ X 12’ rooms can be built out to mimic any type of room (bedroom, living room, etc.). In one of the two pods, a doorway connects the two rooms, allowing an excellent opportunity to show fire transfer though conduction, convection, or other means.

Class B Fueled Training Field

The Class B fueled training area incorporates both propane and natural gas. Repeated fire extinguishment scenarios can be performed on the propane fuel car, forklift, flammable liquids cabinet, industrial pallet racking, and natural-gas-fueled residential and industrial gas meters.

Drafting Pond / Water Rescue

This training venue is 240’ X 300’ and twenty feet deep. A total of five dry hydrants located on two sides of the pond allow motor pump operator training. A boat landing allows for easy access onto the surface of the water. Divers can practice rescue and recovery techniques using the two 20’ X 20’ platforms at the bottom of the pond, one containing a car and the other a future location for a small plane. The venue is a perfect location for water rescue, ice water rescue, both surface and below, along with shore attendant training. It also lends itself to practicing booming to contain a hazardous materials spill.

*Please DO NOT contact FVTC directly. Any questions, concerns, thoughts, suggestions, ideas, etc., regarding the Writers’ Police Academy should be sent or directed to Lee Lofland @ lofland32@msn.com.

REMEMBER, there’s only ONE Writers’ Police Academy. If you don’t see our logo or my name attached, well, you’re simply in the wrong place.

*We are actively seeking volunteers in the Wisconsin area. If you are interested in becoming a WPA team member please contact me at lofland32@msn.com. We need assistance with registration, raffle and auction, name tags, event bags, room monitors, event program, sponsors and advertisements, etc.