CRESTVIEW, Fla. (WKRG) — A new state-of-the-art training facility for the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) was named after former Sheriff Larry Ashley. On Thursday, community leaders gathered at the new center, tucked away off Grimes Ave., for a special presentation and training demonstration.
The Sherriff Larry Ashley Training Center teaches deputies a wide range of skills, from firearms to cyber security. Ashley was on hand for the event.
“Training officers is so much more than just firearms anymore, it’s self-defense tactics, it’s communications, it’s internet, it’s everything,” said Ashely.
The facility has a full shooting range, classroom, computer simulator building, K9 obstacle course and outdoor rescue structure. Ashely hopes that by having a place where the training can come together, OCSO can grow bigger and better over the years.
“To put it in football terms, since I played a little college football. When you have facilities like Alabama and LSU and Florida, you have an easier job at recruiting,” said Ashley. “So we have these facilities and we want people that want to learn, and want to be good deputies.”
Sheriff Ashley says while he may not be in charge, he still has dreams of making the training center bigger.
“We still have 40 acres to the south,” said Ashley. “We want to do an emergency driving pad.”
Ashley was the most recent sheriff before Eric Aden took the badge. OCSO credits Ashley for spearheading this facility, and a new $22 million communication system upgrade currently underway.