History of Emergency Vehicle Training

In the 1960s, drivers training consisted mostly of driving in parking lots and on the grassy areas at the Academy’s first location on Popes Head Road.  As the Academy’s driver’s training became more sophisticated, EVOC training was moved to an unused runway at Bolling Air Force Base where more advanced training occurred for several years.  In the 1970s, EVOC training was again upgraded and relocated, this time to the Old Dominion Speedway in Manassas where it remained for more than 30 years.  In the early 2000s, the academy began to explore options to build its own EVOC course on academy-owned land in Nokesville that had been previously purchased for this purpose.

Former Executive Director Tom Shaw was personally responsible for acquiring the land that the current facility is built on.  In fact, the Academy staff located a 1987 memorandum from Mr. Shaw to the academy's board of directors, in which he describes locating a 140-acre farm in Nokesville that was suitable for building an Emergency Vehicle Operations Center.  Mr. Shaw was authorized by the Academy's board to offer the asking price for the property, which was $500,000.   Mr. Shaw also included this historical fact in his memo:  “The last time the property had been surveyed was in 1868 when the seller’s father has purchased the land.”  So, we learned that the previous deed to the new EVOC property dates back to the Civil War times.

Construction for the new EVOC began in June 2009 and the project was completed in December 2010 at a cost of approximately $16.5 million, well under its original estimated cost.  The Northern Virginia and the Prince William County Criminal Justice Training Academies are joint owners of this project.

The new EVOC is located on a 90-acre tract of land.  It consists of a 14,000 square foot, energy efficient, Administration Building containing 4 classrooms, offices, and two state-of-the-art drivers’ training simulators.

The EVOC driving course includes a 1.1 mile emergency response course; a skid track and skid pan which simulates driving on wet and icy roads for skid avoidance and skid recovery exercises; an urban environment, including 4 signaled intersections, speed humps, bridge grates, a cul-de-sac, and a railroad crossing; and a precision driving skills cones course.

Today, we operate a jointly-owned training facility that provides state-of-the-art driver’s training to more than 3,300 police officers and deputy sheriffs from 23 different law enforcement agencies in the Northern Virginia region.  Our facility has been well designed and well-constructed.  It was also completed ahead of schedule and significantly under budget.