Clearing the Way for Improved Police Training

Sprint Waste Services is proud to be a part of a unique construction project that, once completed, will help keep our men and women in blue—and all Houstonians—safer and better protected. Groundbreaking took place Monday on the Tilman Fertitta Family Tactical Training Center, a $10 million state-of-the-art law enforcement training facility. 

The center will provide tactical, reality-based training in an interactive, scenario-based setting to better prepare law enforcement for homeland security and active shooter threats. Billionaire entrepreneur Tilman Fertitta, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo officially broke ground at the ceremony.

Just hours later, the need for the center came full circle when five HPD officers were shot serving an arrest warrant, landing both Acevedo and Turner back in front of cameras to address the media and the community. Reacting to the news, Fertitta said on his Instagram: “This morning we broke ground on the new Fertitta Tactical Training Center. And this evening, we had officers involved in a terrible shooting. Now, more than ever, I am so thankful that my family and I are able to contribute to these fine men and women.”

The training center is being constructed by Sprint Waste customer Comanche Contractors, with Sprint Waste providing clearing, dirt and removal services and equipment to support the project. Scheduled to be completed in December, the two-story finished training center will be a 44,000-square-foot building on the campus of the police academy on Aldine-Westfield Road in north Houston. Fertitta gave the first $2.5 million toward the project. 

The unique facility will feature mockups of residences, schools, hotels, banks and other businesses and live actors to provide law enforcement with active-shooter training, rappelling, virtual training, and similar advanced applications. Compared to the FBI training center by its architect Ziegler Cooper Architects, only Fort Worth, Sacramento, Washington DC and Chester County, Pennsylvania have similar tactical training centers.

Sprint Waste’s Amy Speer attended Monday’s ceremony, where both Mayor Turner and Chief Acevedo said the center would help to save many lives across the region. “I was honored to be asked to attend the groundbreaking on behalf of Sprint Waste Services,” Speer said. “We’re always excited to contribute to construction projects that improve our community, but partnering with Comanche on a project with this much potential to improve our security and safety is right in our wheelhouse at Sprint. It’s an honor to be involved.”

Sprint Waste President Dave Nelson agreed. “At Sprint Waste we have a long history of partnering with and supporting law enforcement and first responders across the area, but helping to make this virtual training center a reality will have long-lasting benefits for all Houstonians,” he said. “We know Houston will be a safer city with the opening of the Tilman Fertitta Family Tactical Training Center.”