Monday, June 18, 2007

What happened at the range...

Dear All:

Attached please find the reply from the CAO Robert Smuts. I believe that it is self explanatory, and he will be at tomorrow's WEB meeting if you have any further questions. In addition to this all I asked that I be part of the "notify" list so that there is more then one person getting this information.

As Robert points out in his letter we need to get the range enclosed (and/or moved) so we don't have this problem in the future as well as have better trained police officers.

Yours truly,



TO: Alderman Sandman

FROM: Robert Smuts, Chief Administrative Officer

DATE: June 18, 2007

RE: firing range

I have now spoken with many members of the police department, and believe I have a good sense of what did and did not happen in regards to notification of the night-time firing.

In March, Kay Codish, the director of training, emailed Eric Hansen the schedule for daytime usage at the firing range, and noted that we would likely have evening shooting during the June 4-15 range. As the date was confirmed, the department notified the press (the New Haven Independent ran a notice, but the Register did not). Ms. Codish was out sick, and the responsibility for notifying the firing range committee was passed onto the district manager. Unfortunately, that was immediately before the assault on the young Rabbi Greer and the subsequent armed neighborhood patrols, and the district manager forgot to notify the residents about the evening usage of the shooting range.

I have asked the Division of Training and Education to build in more redundancy in notifications so that a similar failing does not happen again. I do apologize to the residents for this incident, and will be attending the WEB management team meeting to do so in person.

On a related note, I have worked with the Mayor’s Office to move the request for federal funding to construct an indoor (sound-proofed) firing range to near the top of our federal agenda. We are making this a top priority both for the training needs it would meet for our police officers, as well as the dramatic quality of life improvement for the neighborhood. As discussed, we will continue to work with the neighborhood on whether there is a more appropriate site for this indoor range than the current location – though whether or not it is moved, the sound pollution will be eliminated.

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