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Kaplan dedicates firearms training simulator to Nicholson

June 05, 2010
  • Officer William "Chris" Decker, left, and Officer Gary Anderson march at the dedication of the new firearms training simulator lab at Kaplan University-Hagerstown. Garnet Stevens, background, is the high school coordinator at Kaplan University's Hagerstown campus.
Submitted photo,

Local law enforcement officials regularly visit Kaplan University-Hagerstown to work with the Fire Arms Training Simulator.

They recently were on campus to remember one of their own as representatives from law enforcement helped dedicate the FATS Lab in memory of Smithsburg Police Officer Christopher Nicholson, who died in the line of duty.

Color Guard members from the Hagerstown Police Department and Washington County Sheriff's Department opened the ceremony, attended by members of Nicholson's family, state Sen. Donald F. Munson, officers from several Washington County departments and faculty and staff of Kaplan University-Hagerstown.

Campus President Chris Motz acknowledged the sacrifice of Nicholson, who was fatally shot Dec. 19, 2007.

"Officer Christopher Nicholson gave his life that December night defending the community he was sworn to protect. He exercised the judgment of a peace officer in discharging his weapon to stop an assailant who had already taken one life. These are the things law enforcement officers face every time they begin their shifts and these are the skills that our new FATS Lab trains the law enforcement officers of the future in."

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After Munson honored Nicholson, the ceremony moved to the FATS Lab where a plaque was unveiled recognizing Nicholson's service with the Smithsburg Police Department.

"It is our hope and belief that each and every time the simulator is used - by either a current officer or a future officer - that they will remember the judgment and sacrifice of Christopher Nicholson. And that his heroic actions that night in a field outside Smithsburg will inspire in them the sacred trust they have sworn," Motz said.

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