Local News

Some residents fired up over Wake Forest PD gun range

Posted August 22, 2008 4:18 p.m. EDT
Updated August 22, 2008 9:32 p.m. EDT

— Some Wake Forest residents say the noise of gunfire from a police shooting range is disrupting their quality of life, and they want it out of their backyards.

Gunfire from the range can be heard as late as 9 p.m. on a Tuesday night in the Hunters Crossing and Sedgefield Park subivisions.

"A war zone is not something you're usually hearing in Wake Forest, N.C.," resident Drew Alexander said.

Homeowner Jim Wragge said the noise of gunshots woke his young daughter in the night, upsetting her.

"She wanted me to hold her because she was afraid of the gunfire," Wragge said.

The shooting range lies between the subdivisions and behind Flaherty Park, off the 1200 block of North White Street. Some of the houses were built before the range, some after.

Wake Forest police officers said the shooting range is critical for training efforts. All officers use it to qualify for their annual weapons tests, and the department's Tactical Service Unit trains there.

To get the training they need, officers have to use the range at different times of the the day, Lt. Mike Maron said.

"This is one of the those things we have to do," Maron said. "We have to have training, and the training has to be realistic."

The shooting range is owned by the police department and is not open to the public.

Town leaders met with upset homeowners earlier this year and agreed to find ways to reduce the noise. One solution was to block the sound with piles of dirt around the range.

"They will hear some noise. We're not going to be able to quiet them completely," Maron said.

Maron said the town was also looking into buying silencers for some guns. The town seeks to notify homeowners of training dates and times at the shooting range.

Some homeowners, though, said those solutions are not far-reaching enough.

"The whole thing should be moved somewhere else," resident Paul Jordan said.