Home » Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office unveils new firing range

Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office unveils new firing range

by Amber McDown

The Webster Parish Police Jury approved the allocation of a portion of the old penal farm for the development of a firing range for the Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office (WPSO) last year. Sheriff Jason Parker envisioned the facility benefiting local law enforcement, area officers, and the local community.

Officers from the Minden Police Department recently utilized the range on Penal Farm Road for firearm qualification, obviating the need for journeys to ranges beyond the parish.

“This is what Sheriff Parker wanted, a facility that can be used by law enforcement officers to conduct their firearm proficiency training or to simply put in the practice they need,” stated Capt. Joel Thomas, WPSO firearms instructor. “We will make the range available for departments in the parish, plus any from surrounding parishes.”

While the range remains in its nascent stages, Thomas affirmed the area’s suitability and security for weapons training. Planned enhancements encompass a dedicated training building onsite, with designated instructors and range safety officers poised for assignment upon the facility’s formal inauguration.

Training offerings will encompass low-light and nocturnal firearm drills, decision-making exercises, and leveraging cover and concealment for tactical advantage. Additionally, instruction in less-lethal munitions employment will be available.

Beyond serving law enforcement personnel, the range will extend its accessibility to the public, functioning as an arena for education and training. The department aims to establish scheduled windows during which the public can access the range under the supervision of a WPSO firearms instructor. Moreover, initiatives are underway to furnish firearms safety and self-defense courses, with considerations being given to the provision of hunter safety instruction for youth.

“Sheriff Parker believes well-informed, professionally trained citizens are an asset,” articulated Thomas. “We will be hosting firearm safety training to the public, and we’ll open the range for them at various times throughout the year.”

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