By Alyssa Schnugg
As Oxford and Lafayette County’s population continues to grow, so do their law enforcement agencies.
To help keep up with the training needs of local police, the Lafayette County Law Enforcement Association will be upgrading the F.D. Buddy East Training Complex off County Road 309.
On Monday, the Lafayette County Planning Commission approved the site plans for a new, 30-target pistol range, an observation tower and an 18-foot by 20-foot pavilion and additional parking at the training complex.
The LCLEA received a grant from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Park for the project.
Brad McDonald, president of the LCLEA, said the new range will help accommodate more law enforcement officers.
Currently, there is a 20-target range at the complex.
“We serve several agencies, including Oxford Police, University Police, the Sheriff’s Department and several local federal agencies,” McDonald said. “With just the one range, we can’t schedule more than one department at a time to train. The new range will allow us to do that.”
The new range will have automated targets that can move, which provides a better training experience for law enforcement, McDonald said. The observation tower will not only allow an on-sight officer to have a better view of the complex, but it will house the equipment needed for the new range.
The pavilion will provide a shaded area for officers who are training.
“It will also provide an outdoor classroom area,” McDonald said.
The project will still need approval from the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors next month. McDonald said if approved, he hopes to see the project move forward by the end of the summer and expects it will take the better part of a year to complete.
“We hope to have it all ready by this time next year,” he said.
McDonald said that the LCLEA appreciates the support of the Board of Supervisors – for this project, the training facility, and of its law enforcement officers overall.