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Flint Local NewsFlint considers converting closed north side fire station into police and firefighter...

Flint considers converting closed north side fire station into police and firefighter training center

Flint, Michigan – Flint is planning to renovate a closed fire station on the city’s north side, transforming it into a new training facility for both firefighters and police officers.

The City Council recently received a proposal to kickstart this project by buying 27 pieces of land from the Genesee County Land Bank for about $9,000. However, council members have indicated they need more details before moving forward.

Police Chief Terence Green shared with the council that there are plans to upgrade Fire Station 4 on Industrial Drive near Stewart Avenue. The plan includes expanding the building to create a training center equipped with classrooms, a 10-stall shooting range, training simulation areas, and extra parking space.

Green said that the part for training police officers might cost more than $1 million, but it’s still not clear how much the whole project will cost. The city wants to buy 27 nearby buildings, six on Carlton Street, 14 on Roberts Street, one on West Pierson Road, two on Industrial, and four on Stewart, according to the resolution sent to the council.

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Green said this training center was very important and that it would save time for police officers. Officers currently have to drive at least an hour to and from Shiawassee County every three months for firearms training.

Green said, “If we had our own facility we could have firearm training much more frequently.”

The search for a more convenient gun training location has been ongoing for over a decade. In 2007, Flint officials resorted to using a range at the Thumb Correctional Facility in Lapeer, following the loss of access to a range at Bishop Airport. That range was closed after a 2005 incident where an FAA employee reported a near-miss with a bullet while working on a runway.

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Fire Station 4 was shut down in 2009 due to budget cuts in Flint, leading to its deterioration as scrappers removed valuable materials like copper and the boiler.

At its meeting on December 18, the Finance Committee of the council did not act on the land purchase proposal. At the committee meeting on January 3, the decision on this matter might be brought up again.