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Dubuque Sheriff unveils new shooting range

DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWWL) – After many years in the making, the Dubuque County Sheriff and Dubuque Police Department now have their own gun range.

The Sheriff’s Department originally bought the land back in 2011. The County Supervisors approved the project, which in total, cost about $1.5 million.

Sheriff, Joe Kennedy, said that the departments previously had to ask permission to use private gun ranges. However, they now have a place to call home.

“To do the best job that we could and try to mitigate sound and try to make it as safe as possible for the neighbors, we actually over built the range,” said Sheriff Kennedy.

The facility is about the size of a football field. It allows officers to shoot as far back as a hundred yards and for the departments to perform various drills.

It also includes a rubber firing turf made from reclaimed tires. Kennedy said that this turf is better for safety, sound mitigation and the environment.

“Instead of coming down range and striking a hard natural surface and sometimes exploding, and causing lead dust to go into the air,” said Sheriff Kennedy. “The granulated rubber will actually catch that lead particle and anything inside there.”

Kennedy said that while the rubber turf was more expensive up front, costing about $200,000, it will last about 20 years before needing to be replaced. The average natural turf needs to be replaced every three years, thus saving taxpayers more money.

However, most of all, Sheriff Kennedy said that the range will help our officers become better trained. Which, in turn, will help keep us safe.

“The most expense of litigation is going to come from the use of force as the result of firearms,” said Sheriff Kennedy. “So, we want to make sure that when our officers are getting their training that they’re getting the best possible place to do it. So, they can get good training and make the best judgment when they’re out shooting their firearms.

The shooting range is to be used exclusively by the Sheriff’s Office and police department. Anyone caught trespassing on the property can be fined.

Ashley Scott

Reporter, Dubuque

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