What’s left to do after spending $2.55 million to renovate the Delaware Department of Correction’s 25-year-old shooting range?
Why show it off, of course.
State lawmakers, including Gov. Jack Markell, toured the department’s Walter Redman Range near Smyrna during an invitation-only open house Wednesday. The range underwent significant renovations from May to December of 2013 thanks to capital budget funds from the 2012 fiscal year.
The range before renovations was insufficient for the department’s needs, said John Painter, a Department of Correction spokesman. That’s because the number of officers who work for the department and must be trained and certified is far greater than any other law enforcement agency in the state.
“More than 2,000 correctional officers, probation and parole officers and emergency response officers use the range each year,” Painter said. “Two newly installed features will enhance the training those officers receive. One is a computer-controlled targeting system that allows for enhanced training by incorporating ‘threat assessment decision making’ into a live-fire training environment.”
Another feature is a platform for rifle training that allows individuals to practice shooting from an elevated position.
“Additionally, the new bullet trapping system collects and stores bullets to allow for the removal and disposal of collected lead without causing environmental damage,” Painter said. “With approximately 1 million rounds annually fired on the range, it was important to have this type of system in place.”
Other improvements include new lighting, intercoms and restrooms, as well as new water, sewer, and electrical systems.
Along with a tour of the range, invited guests also will be able to view static displays of correctional emergency response team weapons and equipment. Some of those weapons include:
•Sig Sauer 40-caliber handgun, used by probation and parole officers; correctional emergency response team members; court and transportation officers; and correctional officers assigned to outside hospital duty.
•Remington 870 shotgun, used by correctional officers.
•Sig Sauer 516 rifle, a specialty weapon used in towers and by perimeter patrols.
Contact Esteban Parra at (302) 324-2299, firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @eparra3.