EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

May 9, 2014

Plaistow firing range supported by users, donors

Police firing range supported by those who use it

(Continued)

The facility has seen significant work over the past several years. The city of Haverhill recently donated about $500 worth of material and labor to repair a fence and gate on the property.

“There’s a lot of sweat equity invested in it,” Savage said. “You can’t just come in and shoot. You have to bring something to the table.”

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service provides the targets.

“We entered into an agreement with the chief,” Postal Inspector Sean Dever said. “We’ll come down, donate supplies like cardboard, the frames, if you let us shoot here.”

About a dozen inspectors were at the site earlier this week for their biannual requalification training. They used handguns at different ranges, firing while standing, crouched and prone to the ground.

The site is perfect for postal inspectors, due to its outdoor nature, where they hold training rain or shine.

“Our operators and agents have to come out. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining, snowing,” Dever said. “We can’t dictate when a firefight is going to happen. That’s realistic. That’s real life.”

Having a building nearby with an outdoor canopy helps for training in extreme weather like blinding snow.

“To have somewhere you can go out and shoot, and then come in from the elements, is huge,” Dever said.

The agency is looking forward to pitching in for the facility’s next major upgrade: a new rifle range.

Right now, the rifle range is just an area of dirt with some marked stakes sticking out of the ground.

Once completed, it could provide adequate training for snipers shooting from 100 yards away, Dever said.

Savage is eyeing the addition of a rifle range, too. But his first priority is paving the existing range, which has enough space for targets up to about 25 yards away.

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