Ever since their old shooting range was closed after bullets caromed into neighbors' houses, Tampa police have driven an hour to train at the Hillsborough County sheriff's range in Lithia.
Now that's going to change, thanks to a recent City Council vote to spend nearly $4.8 million on a new police shooting range and firearms training facility inside the city, reports the Tampa Bay Times.
Counting previously approved funding, the total project cost is almost $5.4 million — too much for council member Yvonne Yolie Capin. She asked for a delay but was outvoted by her colleagues. Mary Mulhern agreed, also suggesting the project could be seen as a step toward "militarizing" the police.
The other five council members approved the project, which police said would allow officers to train more often and be better prepared for high-risk confrontations.
The outdoor firing range will have nearly 60 shooting lanes and will be enclosed by three walls, with baffle roofing to keep bullets from going outside the range. Its three structures will include a classroom and office building and a "shoot house" with moveable inside walls where officers will be able to simulate a variety of real-life scenarios.
An additional $689,000 will go to Action Target of Provo, Utah, for a bullet recovery and target system to be installed at the range. The containment system is designed to be environmentally friendly, automatically collecting spent bullets to a drum for safe disposal.