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Suwanee Police develop shooting range policy

SUWANEE -- The Suwanee City Council on Tuesday approved a policy for the city's new shooting range at the police substation and training facility near Interstate 85.

Chief Mike Jones called the range a "high liability area" and the policy was deemed necessary because outside agencies are expected to use the facility.

"What the policy basically covers is how many people should be on the range, that the rangemaster or his assistant must be present before any firing," Jones said. "Someone from another agency, or one of our officers just couldn't go in there and shoot."

One of the most important aspects of the building is the ventilation system, Jones said, that helps to keep lead levels in the building low. But Jones said officers will be tested every six months to make sure they don't have too much lead in their system.

The facility, though, isn't open to average citizens because it's meant to be a police training facility, Jones said, but some Suwanee residents have inquired about the chance to use it for recreation.

"I don't blame them, I understand that," Jones said. "But because it's a training facility, it's not a facility for recreation. We had to establish that. We want to make sure it's utilized in the way it was intended to be utilized."

The facility's already been used by the police chiefs and their management staffs from the 9th District, which consists of Northeast Georgia departments, who came last week for a class and facility tour. Jones also said the Athens Regional Police Academy personnel may also use the facility for night firing, and Suwanee police officers have begun defensive tactic training at the facility.