GLOUCESTER — Chief Edward Conley wishes to inform the public that the Gloucester Police Department has launched a new web page devoted to providing detailed information about its future use of the West Gloucester Firing Range.
The new page, found here, provides background about the department’s review of the need to use the range, and offers answers to questions frequently asked by residents.
The Massachusetts Police Training Council has increased the weapons-training requirement from one live-fire training session to two, within 12 months, for every weapon in department use. It would be unfair for the department to ask that additional time be taken from club activities to accommodate police training.
“The decision to use force is often made under extreme stress, with seconds to react, together with uncertain information,” Chief Conley said. “Faced with this reality, there is only one way we can meaningfully increase the probability of better outcomes: training.”
Other current training options are not feasible. The police station has a firing range, but it is unsafe by modern standards and will need extensive and expensive repairs. Training out-of-town will be prohibitively costly.
The department is committed to following the range-use limits in the ordinance to the letter.
“Nearly 90 percent of our officers live in Gloucester, so they have a deep sense of responsibility and investment in making sure department activities are planned and carried out in a way that is sensitive to the whole community,” Chief Conley said.