New York State Senator Patty Ritchie is praising members of the Town of Lisbon board for voting to approve a new 10-year contract with the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) that will allow the agency to continue operating a gun range on town-owned property.
“Since 1985, correctional officers from DOCCS have operated a gun range that has allowed officers from a variety of agencies to practice and enhance their skills safely,” said Senator Ritchie. “I am very pleased that a majority of the town board members voted to continue this 33-year tradition of working with our law enforcement community to ensure that they have a safe place for their officers to train.”
“I especially want to thank Lisbon town board members Robert McNeil, Alan Dailey and Nathanael Putney, as well as town attorney Charles Nash, for moving swiftly to work out a contract acceptable to both the town and the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision,” she added.
As part of the lease agreement, the Town of Lisbon will receive an increase in rent from $1 a year to $1,000 a year. DOCCS will also be required to install a fence to enclose the range. DOCCS has also agreed to follow New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Environmental Protection Agency best practices for gun ranges.
The decision comes after a meeting in November where Senator Ritchie brought the two parties together to discuss their concerns after negotiations on a new lease agreement had fallen through. During the meeting, town officials agreed to work with DOCCS to reach an agreement that would allow local correctional officers—along with other members of law enforcement—to continue to use the range as lease negotiations continued.
“Our correctional officers and local law enforcement agencies need to have a place where they can train, practice and successfully meet and exceed the standards set for them by New York State,” Senator Ritchie said. “By keeping this range available to them, we are also giving our correctional officers—who are facing increased violence inside of our prisons—the skills they need to protect themselves, their colleagues and other inmates. In turn, this shows New York State that our prisons and our corrections officers have the support of their communities.”
In addition to local correctional officers, the Town of Lisbon gun range is also used for training and practice by the New York State Police, St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department and other local enforcement agencies.