APD holds grand opening ceremony for $8.2 million law enforcement shooting range

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - A new shooting range is now open in Birchwood, but not to the general public. It's a law enforcement-only range, and it comes at a cost of $8.24 million.

The 22-acre site is located at 19905 Birchwood Spur Road, next to another shooting park. The Ted R. Smith Tactical Training Facility for Law Enforcement is named in memory of a retired APD sergeant. Smith, who died in 2013, invested many years of work ensuring APD and all of Alaska law enforcement officers were prepared and maintained the "highest levels of proficiency and knowledge in the use of tactics towards the preservation of life," APD wrote in a release.

The facility will house four shooting ranges, from 300 yards down to 50 yards, as well as a range house. Following the grand opening ceremony Wednesday, APD gave a tour to attendees.

The new property and ranges come at a cost, however. More than $8 million was approved in three government grants for the construction of the shooting range.

Lt. Richard Henning with APD told KTUU last year that the facility was necessary for officers to train consistently. He said officers use three other ranges for training, and that the new law enforcement-only range will free up public ranges.

“This is a more consistent training facility for us and more consistent venue,” Henning said. “It also helps out the public by opening up the other ranges that we have tied up in the past.”

Multiple agencies will be allowed to use the facility, including APD, FBI, Fish and Game, and other members of law enforcement agencies in the Southcentral Region.

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