More than a decade after the Maryville Police Department closed its firing range for wastewater treatment plant expansion on Wheeler Road, it’s set to build a new one at 410 Home Ave., before 2021 is out.
Maryville City Council this week unanimously approved a bid for the most qualified contractor to build the range — an indoor, modular setup made out of shipping containers.
When Maryville Police Department officials advertised a bid for the range, they received two responses: one from Las Vegas-based Shooting Range Industries (SRI) for $852,482.33 and one from CoverSix/RedGuard LLC for $845,628.
MPD Chief Tony Crisp spoke to council members Tuesday, explaining why police leadership wanted to go with the highest bid instead of the lowest.
Crisp pointed to a variety of factors — listed in council notes — that led the department to request spending of $6,854 above the lowest cost.
He said department employees visited and tested an SRI module before they made the purchasing decision and added the company has “been present at the last seven years of industry events,” according to council notes.
But Crisp emphasized the importance of having a range integrated with software that creates training scenarios, which SRI does. A variety of U.S. contractors provide these digital scenarios or “judgmental simulations” and SRI integrates with the Multiple Interactive Learning Objectives brand known by its acronym, “MILO.”
“We’ve actually tested with (MILO) and shot with it,” Crisp said, explaining MPD’s familiarity with the system’s de-escalation training. “It measures your accuracy and it measures your response time and it measures … whether you shouldn’t have shot.”
He said there may be instances when, if officers fail a no-shoot scenario, they may have to complete remedial training “and improve (their) ability to recognize whether something is actually a threat or not.”
The software also will allow MPD to film real places throughout Maryville and customize scenarios in the system, giving officers an opportunity to practice in familiar locations.