The firing range at Sussex County Community College’s Public Safety Training Academy received an upgrade that will now allow local law enforcement to complete additional training at the site.
Previously, the firing range’s backstop was made of steel plates and deflectors, which released dust upon impact. The types of firearm that can be used with this kind of backstop were limited.
The upgraded rubber backstop is made from ground-up tires, which means better air quality in the range. It can also be used for a wider range of firearms, allowing local law enforcement to complete firearms training and requalification at the academy. In the past, officers would have to travel outside of the county to other facilities.
The Public Safety Training Academy is located at the Sussex Homestead Complex in Hampton. It encompasses the firing range, fire academy, and classrooms used for the College and other emergency service and county training.
Larry Bono, the operations administrator for the Training Academy, approached the college’s chief financial officer, Ketan Gandhi, about upgrading the range. Bono said the range traces its roots back to the 1940s, when the county Firemen’s Association trained in a field not far from its current location. The firing range was added in 2005.
In addition to academy use, the firing range is open nights and weekends to the public through Stir and Shoot, LLC, which leases the space.