Sandy Springs Police held an open house June 30 for area law enforcement agencies to tour its new firearms training facility where officers can practice for such events as mass shootings.

The warehouse building, located in Doraville, allows officers to train with simulator rounds in a facility that is designed to look like a school and a residence for emergency situations such as acts of terrorism and active shooters.

A peek inside the Sandy Springs Police Department’s new firearms training building. (Courtesy SSPD)

The Dunwoody Police Department, Brookhaven Police Department and Johns Creek Police Department will all be using the facilities as well because these departments, along with Sandy Springs Police, share a SWAT team, said Capt. Mike Lindstrom, spokesperson for the SSPD.

“We are pretty excited about having this building to conduct our training,” he said.

SSPD will also make the warehouse space available to other agencies who also may want to train in it.

The facility is filled with rooms, hallways and doorways that will help officers reenact and train for situations such as a mass shooter, Lindstrom said. The building also includes a classroom, several offices, an observation room and a catwalk for instructional use.

One side of the building is designed to resemble a school setting and the other side of the building is designed to look like a residence, Lindstrom said.

The building is also designed so that the lights will be suddenly shut off, where officers will be forced to break down doors, that sirens and other noises will be filtered in — all to try to simulate actual stressful emergency situations.

“We hope against it and prepare for it,” Lindstrom said.

“This facility will open so many doors with our training — we will be able to do more than anyone else in the area,” he said.

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.