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Estonia to make former Tallinn Prison available to police, armed structures for training

TALLINN - The Estonian state real estate management company RKAS is about to put the former compound of Tallinn Prison on Magasini Street, Tallinn, at the disposal of the police and national security structures for the conduct of training.

RKAS in 2016 concluded a cooperation agreement with the Kaitseliit (Defense League) volunteer corps, the Police and Border Guard Board, the Rescue Board, the Prison Service and the defense forces' Special Operations Command on the conduct of training exercises at unused built compounds belonging to RKAS. The former compound of Tallinn Prison offers diverse possibilities for training. 

Marko Ild, leading law enforcement official at the Police and Border Guard Board, said that the compound provides an environment where police personnel can conduct tactical training and polish their skills.

"On that property, police personnel can rehearse the detention of dangerous criminals on a extensive land area full of buildings, rehearse movement and teamwork. The specifics and size of the territory enable to conduct training that is different," Ild said. 

In accordance with the agreement, for each property item precise terms of its use for the training of security structures will be set forth, including the possibility to use various training ammunition and the scale of the potential impact from the exercise. The armed  structures organizing the training will be responsible for safety. 

While to date mainly unused RKAS sites in North Estonia have been made available to security structures for training, cooperation is possible also in other regions in case this is necessary and provided that suitable sites exist. 

The longer-term plan of RKAS is to put the former properties of Tallinn Prison up for auction as the state at present does not need the properties for its own needs. According to the new detailed plan, the property at the address 35 Magasini Street will be divided into 15 plots, eight of which are meant for commercial use and four for use as residential properties. The remaining three properties will be transport land.

The whole compound measures about five hectares, and the planned structures on it would consist of 39,000 square meters of enclosed floor area and 31,000 square meters of underground parking.

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