To watch over the citizens of New Haven, CT more than 450 sworn officers act as guardians of the city. Together, they believe in a shared responsibility to create a safe, culturally diverse and inclusive city. Honoring this dedication requires constant training to ensure every officer is in the best possible situation to succeed in keeping the city safe.
Recently, the City of New Haven came to the conclusion that a certain aspect of their police department’s training was not ideal – the shooting range the department used for training was located in a residential neighborhood. Surrounded by baseball fields and adjacent to elementary school, the range was causing considerable problems for everyone in the neighborhood.
“As you can imagine, everyone hated hearing the gunshots from the range around the clock,” said Zach Shapiro, Chief Structural Engineer for the City of New Haven.
To help remedy the situation, the city began looking for a different area of the city to build a new range that would allow local officers to receive the best possible training without disrupting the surrounding community.
When the City of New Haven began researching options for their new range, the city contacted Range Systems to begin investigating what type of live-action firing range would be right for the police department.
The idea of engaging with Range Systems came to Shapiro by way of one of the city’s police officers. A veteran, the officer had used Range Systems’ training facilities when he was training for combat. He recommended that Shapiro reach out to the Range Systems team.
Outside of the officer’s recommendation, Shapiro noticed that when looking for a product, there weren’t a lot of manufacturers out there that could develop a turnkey range from the ground up. Range Systems was one of the only companies that did.
“When we contacted Range Systems, they did a lot to work with us to figure out what exactly we need and helped us along the way,” said Shapiro. “Since we’re a municipality, it was an open bid for the project, but Range Systems worked pretty closely with us throughout that process.”
After winning the bid to work on the City of New Haven’s range, Range Systems quickly provided the structural design for the interior of the range. This allowed for quick design of the foundation and exterior of the building. Once the foundation and exterior were completed, a Range Systems technician arrived on-site to work with the project’s contractor.
“This was essential to building the project quickly,” said Shapiro. “They were able to move quickly and finished the majority of the range in about two weeks. Without that collaboration, it would be closer to a month.”
The range features an overhead baffle system, allowing for the officers to fire down range at 270 degrees. The range’s impact-resistant sidewalls can withstand 7.62mm bullets at close proximity. Range Systems-patented ballistic rubber lines the back walls of the range, nearly eliminating ricochet.
Since the range’s opening in July of 2018, the range is in use nonstop by local police and garnered positive feedback from all of New Haven PD’s officers.
Just as important, the locals living around New Haven’s previous range are enjoying their newly found peace-and-quiet.
“People are ecstatic to no longer hear the gunshots,” said Shapiro. “The new range is essentially silent from the outside. The whole neighborhood is much, much happier, and we know that our officers are going to be safe and prepared from training with this range from Range Systems.”