The Tampa Police Department is getting a new shooting range for police training.
The new $3.5 million project, funded by the City of Tampa
law enforcement trust fund, will be located behind the city's McKay Bay trash incinerator
off of 34th Street.
Plans call for the new facility to include two shooting ranges, a training building and a control tower. Baffle concrete walls to reduce noise are among some of the project's planned features.
“It's hard to replicate what goes on out there in the street, but to the extent that we can make it as realistic as possible, the better off they are and the safer they are,” says Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “That's why facilities like this are so important for us and for them.”
The project is expected to take approximately 18 months to two years to complete, with groundbreaking slated by the end of 2013.
Tampa officials have issued an invitation to companies interested in designing and building the range; responses are due by May 9th.
For years, Tampa law enforcement
-- nearly 1,000 sworn officers -- have used the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
shooting range in Lithia, where yearly state qualification standards are met. Last year, approximately $265,000 was spent for Tampa officers to train at the Sherrif's Office range.
In addition to saving money, Buckhorn sees several advantages to having the new range in Tampa.
“The closer they are to the range, the more they can practice,” he says. “I want them to be able to practice as much as they need to.”
Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Mayor Bob Buckhorn, City of Tampa