Print Edition

Print Edition
Subscribe now to the print edition of Suburban Life.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Get text messages on your mobile phone or PDA with news, weather and more from mySuburbanLife.com.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
Our My Suburban Life Daily Update will send you all of the news you need to keep up with the pace of news in DuPage and Cook County.
Local News

Kane County Regional Training Center logs 71K rounds fired

Deputy Shawn Barrows, a range officer, shares technique with deputy Chris Johnson during firearms training at the Kane County Sheriff's Department range on Dec. 21.
Deputy Shawn Barrows, a range officer, shares technique with deputy Chris Johnson during firearms training at the Kane County Sheriff's Department range on Dec. 21.

ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – As the training coordinator for the Kane County Sheriff’s Office, Sgt. Paul Warren is in charge of the Kane County Regional Training Center, where officers receive continuing firearms instruction.

Training for shooting, taser and tactical responses is a critical aspect of law enforcement, Warren said.

“We have over 200 officers go through it every year to get qualified, and that’s just at the sheriff’s office,” Warren said. “Our sworn officers from corrections and public safety have to qualify. Other departments use it to qualify their officers or for tactical training.”

Located on the same campus as the Kane County Judicial Center and Kane County Sheriff’s Office, the 5,700-square-foot firearms range cost nearly $2 million. When it opened in September 2014, it was a state-of-the-art replacement for the previous shooting range, officials said, with multiple shooting lanes and the capability to accommodate different training scenarios, such as traffic stops and low-light conditions.

The range has logged about 71,000 rounds since late last year, Warren said.

Warren said that in addition to sheriff’s deputies, agencies that trained there include Kane County Court Services, the police departments of St. Charles, Campton Hills, South Elgin and Batavia and the law enforcement branch of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

The Regional Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System, Special Response Team and Weapons of Mass Destruction Special Response Team, all based in Naperville, have trained at the regional center as well, Warren said.

The regional training center has collected about $2,000 in fees, Warren said.

“We do not charge other county agencies to train,” Warren said. “Court security does not pay. St. Charles does not pay because we use their outdoor range. South Elgin, Batavia and Campton Hills and the EPA pay.”

The cost to rent the facility is $200 for four hours, $300 for eight hours and $400 for 24-hour blocks, he said.

“We have pricing for a monthly training date, but nobody seems to be using that at this point,” said Warren, who has been range coordinator for six months. “We are looking for more agencies to use it, once we get our name out there promoting classes that we’re offering. We’re looking to use social media for promotion. We want to give the county money back for the money they invested.”

• • •

Revenue from rentals is to be used for maintaining the facility. So far, the only maintenance that they needed to do was replace air filters inside the range, Warren said.

“The filters filter all the lead out of the air, so they are a little bit more involved than filters you use in your house,” Warren said.

The old range, which was at the old sheriff’s office on Fabyan Parkway in Geneva, became unusable as it had flooded and was contaminated by lead and mold, officials said.

More law enforcement agencies previously made arrangements elsewhere in the year-plus gap when the county’s other facility closed and the new one was not built yet, Warren said. Geneva, for example, uses the St. Charles outdoor range and the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy at College of DuPage, Cmdr. Julie Nash wrote in an email.

Another potential source of revenue for the range will be available in three years, when the bullet trap is cleaned out and all the lead is recycled and the old bullets are sold back, Warren said.

“The trap is what stops the bullet – it’s a pit of shredded rubber,” Warren said. “The bullets can get recycled because [they’re] hitting rubber. They don’t fall apart and fragment ... breaking into millions of little pieces.”

The range is not open to the public. It is open only to law enforcement and for retired police officers, Warren said.

When the range’s $1.1 million price tag was not enough, a budget adjustment of $826,000 from the county’s cash on hand put it at nearly $2 million, records show. At the time, the sheriff’s office said it would incur $60,000 to $80,000 in costs if training had to be outsourced at another facility.

Kane County Board members voted 19-4 in favor of additional funds for building the facility at a March 11, 2014, meeting, records show. Kane County Board member Phil Lewis, R-St. Charles, was one of the four who voted “no” along with Mark Davoust, R-St. Charles; Mike Donahue, R-Geneva; and Rebecca Gillam, R-West Dundee.

“I was not a big fan of it,” Lewis said. “I have never been out there. I agree law enforcement needs a range to accurately shoot their weapons if they have to. The city of St. Charles has one [an outdoor range] near [the training facility], and the city of Aurora has their own range that was brand new. So why spend the money?”

One option that Lewis would have supported was to allow the public to train there as well, he said. But officials at the time said there would be too much liability for the county, so it was not included.

“We got ourselves a pretty high-performance shooting range,” Lewis said. “We’ll see what happens.”

But County Board member John Hoscheit, R-St. Charles, said the board considered all aspects of the range and training center before supporting it.

“As a board, we weighed the economic benefits and the cost,” Hoscheit said. “We did a long, significant analysis about building our own or cooperating with other agencies. After studying the pros and cons, the conclusion was to build our own, and get other agencies to use it to defray the cost of operating it.”

For Warren, building the training center was the right thing to do.

“I definitely think it was a good idea,” Warren said. “We’re getting a lot of use out of it.”

ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – As the training coordinator for the Kane County Sheriff’s Office, Sgt. Paul Warren is in charge of the Kane County Regional Training Center, where officers receive continuing firearms instruction.

Training for shooting, taser and tactical responses is a critical aspect of law enforcement, Warren said.

“We have over 200 officers go through it every year to get qualified, and that’s just at the sheriff’s office,” Warren said. “Our sworn officers from corrections and public safety have to qualify. Other departments use it to qualify their officers or for tactical training.”

Located on the same campus as the Kane County Judicial Center and Kane County Sheriff’s Office, the 5,700-square-foot firearms range cost nearly $2 million. When it opened in September 2014, it was a state-of-the-art replacement for the previous shooting range, officials said, with multiple shooting lanes and the capability to accommodate different training scenarios, such as traffic stops and low-light conditions.

The range has logged about 71,000 rounds since late last year, Warren said.

Warren said that in addition to sheriff’s deputies, agencies that trained there include Kane County Court Services, the police departments of St. Charles, Campton Hills, South Elgin and Batavia and the law enforcement branch of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

The Regional Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System, Special Response Team and Weapons of Mass Destruction Special Response Team, all based in Naperville, have trained at the regional center as well, Warren said.

The regional training center has collected about $2,000 in fees, Warren said.

“We do not charge other county agencies to train,” Warren said. “Court security does not pay. St. Charles does not pay because we use their outdoor range. South Elgin, Batavia and Campton Hills and the EPA pay.”

The cost to rent the facility is $200 for four hours, $300 for eight hours and $400 for 24-hour blocks, he said.

“We have pricing for a monthly training date, but nobody seems to be using that at this point,” said Warren, who has been range coordinator for six months. “We are looking for more agencies to use it, once we get our name out there promoting classes that we’re offering. We’re looking to use social media for promotion. We want to give the county money back for the money they invested.”

• • •

Revenue from rentals is to be used for maintaining the facility. So far, the only maintenance that they needed to do was replace air filters inside the range, Warren said.

“The filters filter all the lead out of the air, so they are a little bit more involved than filters you use in your house,” Warren said.

The old range, which was at the old sheriff’s office on Fabyan Parkway in Geneva, became unusable as it had flooded and was contaminated by lead and mold, officials said.

More law enforcement agencies previously made arrangements elsewhere in the year-plus gap when the county’s other facility closed and the new one was not built yet, Warren said. Geneva, for example, uses the St. Charles outdoor range and the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy at College of DuPage, Cmdr. Julie Nash wrote in an email.

Another potential source of revenue for the range will be available in three years, when the bullet trap is cleaned out and all the lead is recycled and the old bullets are sold back, Warren said.

“The trap is what stops the bullet – it’s a pit of shredded rubber,” Warren said. “The bullets can get recycled because [they’re] hitting rubber. They don’t fall apart and fragment ... breaking into millions of little pieces.”

The range is not open to the public. It is open only to law enforcement and for retired police officers, Warren said.

When the range’s $1.1 million price tag was not enough, a budget adjustment of $826,000 from the county’s cash on hand put it at nearly $2 million, records show. At the time, the sheriff’s office said it would incur $60,000 to $80,000 in costs if training had to be outsourced at another facility.

Kane County Board members voted 19-4 in favor of additional funds for building the facility at a March 11, 2014, meeting, records show. Kane County Board member Phil Lewis, R-St. Charles, was one of the four who voted “no” along with Mark Davoust, R-St. Charles; Mike Donahue, R-Geneva; and Rebecca Gillam, R-West Dundee.

“I was not a big fan of it,” Lewis said. “I have never been out there. I agree law enforcement needs a range to accurately shoot their weapons if they have to. The city of St. Charles has one [an outdoor range] near [the training facility], and the city of Aurora has their own range that was brand new. So why spend the money?”

One option that Lewis would have supported was to allow the public to train there as well, he said. But officials at the time said there would be too much liability for the county, so it was not included.

“We got ourselves a pretty high-performance shooting range,” Lewis said. “We’ll see what happens.”

But County Board member John Hoscheit, R-St. Charles, said the board considered all aspects of the range and training center before supporting it.

“As a board, we weighed the economic benefits and the cost,” Hoscheit said. “We did a long, significant analysis about building our own or cooperating with other agencies. After studying the pros and cons, the conclusion was to build our own, and get other agencies to use it to defray the cost of operating it.”

For Warren, building the training center was the right thing to do.

“I definitely think it was a good idea,” Warren said. “We’re getting a lot of use out of it.”

Loading more