Why shooting ranges?

Opinion: Editorials

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On the list of things assumed in Oak Park village government was the reality that sooner or later a large chuck of cash was going to be needed to overhaul the 40-year-old police shooting range in the basement of village hall. Something like $350,000 has been allocated for the update in recent years, though never spent.

And then last week Chief Rick Tanksley took village trustees and others on a tour of the range. He pointed out that several of the cool features veteran TV cop show watchers would expect as standard issue in a firing range — the gizmo that carries the paper targets forward and back, the doors that swing to reveal a suspect — are long since busted with spare parts no longer available.

But, said Tanksley, for $10,000 a year, Oak Park cops can for now train at other local police firing ranges. Rather he said, let me work during 2014 on a plan to involve other police departments to share the cost of a state-of-the-art virtual training facility. It won't be cheap, he said, but it will be up-to-date and of interest to other departments which might share the costs.

Again, a good example of challenging simple assumptions. We need to do more.


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Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: November 20th, 2013 4:33 AM

I like this idea of having a shooting range owned/operated by multiple municipalities. If the range was removed from the OPPD that would give a lot of space for other things in the crowded police department. I don't believe that most officers live in town anyway.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: November 20th, 2013 1:50 AM

One thing that was mentioned during the tour was that, while a shooting range (distance shooting) was a legal requirement for continued training of officers, the more common real-life scenarios happened at closer range, and in smaller areas like in a kitchen in a home. So I am intrigued to see what Oak Park will come up with to more effectively train our, and perhaps other municipalities', officers.

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