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Sheriff's deputies are required by the state to take a shooting qualifications test every year, according to Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz. With the new surface on their Adamsville Road shooting range, the deputies will be able to train during all four seasons.
"With the conditions we had before, anytime we had rain, ice; anything like that, puddles would freeze up and it causes problems with footing," said Deputy Sheriff Ryan Williams. "And any time an officer would fall down with a live weapon, that creates a problem for us. With the black top, now we can clear those obstacles and make sure that they can train in cold weather, wet weather. However, they have a good, safe environment in order to do that."
Sidwell Materials donated the paving and Williams Asphalt & Concrete put down the black top for free. With help from Muskingum County Prosecutor Mike Haddox, Genesis Police Chief Eric King, Muskingum County Engineer Doug Davis and drug seizure money, the roadway leading to the firearms range and run off water problems were also taken care. Without the donations, Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz says the project wouldn't have been possible.
"This will give us the ability now to bring a car down, a cruiser, one of our old cruisers," said Lutz. "We'll station it behind in an area where the officer can exit the cruiser and then fire at targets simulating different things that that officer is faced with on a daily basis. So it gives us the opportunity to invert the cruiser and our training."
The deputies will now be able to take full advantage of the 50-yard-range. They will train exiting cars under fire and under pressure, and gauge targets from behind car doors, something Lutz says they weren't able to do in the past