When the target turns, deputies have several seconds to pull their guns from their holsters and fire twice. They're preparing for the real thing, and thanks to an upgraded shooting range, their training is right on the mark.
"The old range was an antiquated system. We were severely limited with the training we could do. With a new system there's a lot more training. We shoot at moving targets; people can shoot on the move, train with real scenarios," says Sgt. Scott Meyers with the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department.
The $150,000 upgrade was made possible by Rockford Area Crimestoppers. A new computer operated system allows for a wide range of training possibilities.
"The new backstop is made of ground up tires; we can shoot rifles, plus any handgun round can be shot here," says Sgt. Ted Getty with the Rockford Police Department.
But no lead ammunition will be fired in this range. The departments began using lead-free bullets several years ago because of health hazards.
Sgt. Scott Meyers says in this day and age, law enforcement personnel have to be prepared for anything.
"It's well known that the people we go against sometimes out-gun us. We need to be able to improve our tactics, and this is a tool that can help," says Meyers.
The new range will allow officers to sharpen their skills and stay right on their main target, keeping our community safe.
The Rockford Police Department and the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department share the shooting range. It's also open to all law enforcement agencies in Winnebago County. The new range opened on Monday.