Police want a firing range in village limits

By Jonathan Delozier - jdelozier@civitasmedia.com

A police firing range could soon be built within Wellington village limits.

Rather than traveling elsewhere to practice with sidearms and rifles, officers may begin using wooded areas near the town’s wastewater treatment plant, police chief Tim Barfield said in a Sept. 6 village council meeting.

“There has been no confirmation yet but things have moved a little further along than this just being an idea,” he said. “I would love to see this move along very quickly because firearms skill is a diminishing one. It’s something we have to keep up on. Having to go outside the village creates time and money restrictions with training. It makes things difficult as far as sending officers and instructors out there.”

The Law Enforcement Notification System, or LENS, would be used to notify residents of training exercises at the proposed range. The system was used last year by police during a planned power outage, Barfield said.

“I would want to put specific phone numbers in the LENS system for the people we’d want to notify of range practices,” he said. “Those people would also have to subscribe to the notifications. If they did, we’d tell them about range practices and their times and dates.”

Firing ranges aren’t always popular with neighbors.

Last year, the Wellington Township Citizens group filed a complaint in the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas when the Amherst Sportsman’s Club purchased land on Pitts Road for hunting and clay shooting.

Barfield doesn’t think there will be a similar uproar over a new firing range for his department.

“The complaint there was that it was going to be a sporting range and there would be noise from it at any given time,” he said. “This would be much more regulated. I think residents would be fine with us training because they want well-trained officers. At the same time, we want to be respectful of their time. As long as we notify people, I think they’ll be OK with it.”

Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.

By Jonathan Delozier