PLAIN DEALING, La. (KSLA) - If you happen to be driving down Highway 3 in Plain Dealing and pass Dogwood Street — you’ve already missed it.
What was Plain Dealing Academy is that easy to pass by, especially if you don’t press the brakes to spot out the aging institution.
But, inside this now extra quiet building, the Bossier Sheriff’s Office, and other agencies across Louisiana, fine-tune vital skills needed to respond to potentially life-or-death situations.
Welcome to the ‘shoot house.’
“We call it the dog pound,” said Bruce Teutsch, assistant chief of training for the Bossier Sheriff’s Office. “It’s 12 thousand square feet of blood, sweat and pain.”
Over the past year or so, the Bossier Sheriff’s Office has worked to create a disorienting labyrinth — right inside the facility’s gymnasium.
Makeshift hallways, corridors and rooms now fill the gym. Even with the lights on, it can be easy to get lost.
Just imagine breaking into a room in total darkness — guns drawn.
“We can do SWAT training, we can do search and rescue; we can actually go into these rooms and just pile a bunch of debris and learn how to go through it for a victim,” Teutsch said. “Having our deputies know how to run their weapons, their equipment, due tactical movement and then engage a suspect - whether they have to shoot or not - is vital.”
Trainees moving through this vast maze of uncertainty carry their standard issue pistol: a SIG Sauer P320.
“Live ammunition cannot be put in them,” Teutsch explained.
Instead, a type of training ammunition, aptly called ‘Simunition’ is fired to replicate real ammunition.
“The more stress we can induce on a person over and over and over, the better they are going to be when the real thing happens."
Teutsch added agencies across the state are welcome to train in the ‘shoot house.’