EAGAN, Minn. (WCCO) – Staff at Rasmussen College in Eagan hope their new 8,000 square-foot location will give students the right skills before entering Minnesota’s law enforcement.

The new facility includes several scenario training rooms where students can practice how to deal with a bank robbery, a bar fight, a hold-up at a convenience store and even a domestic situation in a mock apartment.

Law Enforcement Skills Coordinator Michael Ardolf says the facility will enhance the learning experiences of those in the program.

“It’s going add a lot of value to the training that we do with Rasmussen law enforcement students,” Ardolf said.

The courses are led by currently-working or recently-retired law enforcement officers like Ardolf and Bentley Jackson, who worked as a crime scene investigator and is now an adjunct instructor at Rasmussen.

“We cover everything from finger printing to initial response, how to evaluate a crime scene, what is a crime scene and how to secure it,” Jackson said.

He says they also teach how to collect DNA and how recognize where it can be found.

The training takes six months, and once complete, students can take the Peace Officer Standard and Training (POST) test, which will certify them to practice law enforcement in Minnesota.

The program is also the first in the state to offer classes on nights and weekends.

“This program is really geared toward people going back to school. Working adults that are managing both family and a job,” Jackson said. “They’re trying to improve their lives or change careers.”

Dave Eichman, 29, is a student from Newport. On his first day, he was shown how to take down a man wielding a knife.

To make the scenario more realistic, he says the knife had an electric tip that delivered a shock.

“I would love to graduate and get a job basically anywhere,” Eichman said. “The goal is to get into narcotics. I would love to focus strictly on that. Meth is something I would like to see disappear.”

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