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Central Shenandoah Criminal Justice Training Academy Awarded Grant

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Law enforcement officers taking part in the Central Shenandoah Criminal Justice Training Academy Law enforcement officers taking part in the Central Shenandoah Criminal Justice Training Academy
Law enforcement officers taking part in the Central Shenandoah Criminal Justice Training Academy Law enforcement officers taking part in the Central Shenandoah Criminal Justice Training Academy
Andrew McNally Andrew McNally
WEYERS CAVE, Va. (WVIR) -

A new federal grant will help police officers prepare for domestic terrorism and hate crimes.

The Central Shenandoah Criminal Justice Training Academy will now teach officers how to handle riots like the events of August 12 in downtown Charlottesville.

The academy was awarded almost $150,000 from a U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant. Directors say the program will train almost 2,000 officers from more than 50 police departments. The program will be taught by 30 instructors who will be trained on how to handle violent extremism and massive crowds.

The academy will be buying 100 full riot suits, including shields and headgear.

Executive Director Andrew McNally says they are actually creating a mass-response team, since all officers in central Virginia will receive the same training.

"It’s going to enable us to train our officers - which we have 57 different agencies - to have a more regional response to where if there is an incident that additional people are needed, everyone is kind of on the same page," he said.

The academy is also using money to bring in a Homeland Security team that will plan a mass-scale emergency event for officers to practice their skills at Shenandoah Regional Airport in September.

Directors say they're still in the planning stage, but they hope to have all of the equipment and their first training by the end of March.

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