Maple Grove and Plymouth Police Departments are teaming up to operate a newly renovated shooting range.
Both cities were without a local range for several years. Plymouth closed its range because of mechanical issues and water damage, while Maple Grove’s range was damaged in a fire two years ago. Both departments were forced to practice shooting at nearby facilities.
Now, Maple Grove's burnt building, off of 89th Avenue, has undergone a $2.2 million renovation with plans to open on January 8.
While the city of Maple Grove owns the building and the land, the two police departments will share the operational maintenance and cost to run the facility.
“Every city is dealing with tight budgets so anytime we can utilize partnerships to stretch every dollar, we’ll do it,” Plymouth Police Deputy Chief Dan Plekkenpol said.
Plekkenpol says the joint venture is not only more cost effective than other options the city researched, it’s also a good opportunity to work with a neighboring police department.
“We have a great working relationship with Maple Grove,” Plekkenpol said. “We’ve worked together on other projects and this new venture seemed like an excellent fit for both departments.”
To bring in some revenue, other law enforcement branches can rent space at the facility. The public can also use the twelve-lane range two days a week, but the main use will come from the roughly 130 officers that make up Plymouth and Maple Grove’s police force.
“Shooting is a perishable skill,” Maple Grove Police Chief David Jess said. “It can diminish greatly if it is not practiced. It’s vital that every officer can use a weapon accurately.”
Jess believes the range, officially called the Law Enforcement Training Facility, will benefit both police departments.
“The best way to fight crime is to work together,” Jess said. “By operating this facility together, we’re strengthening both forces.”