Boise wants big upgrades at police shooting range

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- The Boise Police Department says its firing range at the end of Mountain Cove Road in the foothills is the most cost-efficient location for officers to practice critical firearm skills.

And now the city is asking the planning and zoning commission for permission to make a major overhaul at the range.

The city has big plans for this firing range which includes spending almost $2 million to make the range more attractive, quieter and safer.

The Planning and Zoning Commission will consider the request at its Aug. 12 meeting at city hall.

But the location of the firing range has its critics.

Steve Stuebner has written extensively about the Boise Foothills and points to the devastating 8th Street fire in August 1996, sparked by an officer's tracer round, as proof the range should be relocated.

"We just can't allow this area to be damaged by fire," he told KBOI-TV. "It just seems like an accident waiting to happen again."

Others who use the foothills trails near the firing range are less concerned.

"The range doesn't bother me," said Jim Bartolino of Boise, who was riding his mountain bike.

Some homeowners we talked to complain about the noise.

But the police department says its overhaul plan will satisfy both the needs of officers to meet firearms requirements and the public's concerns.