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The city's Committee on Public Health and Safety agrees that a new range will likely have to be indoors or elsewhere in the county.

Pittsfield Seeking New Location for Police Shooting Range

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are now looking for either a place outside the city limits or to build an indoor shooting range.
The Police Department halted live fire at the Utility Drive shooting range last month following objections from the neighbors. Police Chief Michael Wynn said a look at other city-owned properties to create a new range will likely face the same problem. That leaves the city in a position to either build an indoor facility or find somewhere else for an outdoor one.
"It is not like we can do this at an outdoor location within city limits without some serious engineering work," Wynn said. "It is either get outside of the city limits or build an indoor facility."
The chief said there is sound reduction technology available to make an outdoor range be less invasive, but it will come at an expense.
Neighbors had issues with the Utility Drive shooting range regarding safety and noise. They raised concerns over zoning and the proximity to the homes with children. The Police Department issued an order to halt the live fire training, though police will still use it for other types of training. 
"There should not be gunfire coming from that range from anybody associated with the Pittsfield Police Department," Wynn said.
The issue came to a peak when the citizens took it to the City Council and the city's building department conceded that there were conflicts with zoning. Wynn said the department now has until the end of the year to come up with at least an idea for a new location. He said other local departments with ranges have offered to help out with some of the essential needs between now and then.
"My preference is that we train outside. We work outside," Wynn said.
The department is between training cycles right now, but Wynn said there will be the need for a lot more training early next year.
Councilor at Large Melissa Mazzeo is particularly in favor of the city looking outside of its limits for a shooting range but Wynn said it can't be too far away because of travel time.
Council President Peter Marchetti also noticed that the city's zoning bylaws don't address indoor ranges. Building Commissioner Gerald Garner said one could conceivably be built according to the outdoor guidelines, but such things as having 20 acres of land render that possibility remote. 
"I don't think anybody is going to do an indoor shooting range here," Garner said.
Garner said the city will have to review its zoning policies should the city opt to look at some type of indoor range.
Lathers Avenue David Durante suggested the city get zoning in order and plan to build a shooting range inside of a new police station. The current police station had one in the basement but it was shut down because of contamination. 
"I'd like to take the opportunity with the new police station that we spend the money and give them a range," Durante said.
But a new police station could be a long time off. City officials are now looking to craft a plan for the future so officers have somewhere to train.

Tags: Pittsfield Police,   shooting range,   

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Oct. 18-24

The 15th annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival continues through Sunday, Oct. 20. The Dayramir Gonzalez Quartet will perform at Berkshire Museum on Friday, Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. The concert will be preceded by a wine bar that opens at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m., The Colonial Theatre will host legendary vocalist Stephanie Nakasian and her daughter, Veronica Swift, in a rare pairing. The Berkshires Jazz Youth Ensemble will open.
Follow the yellow brick road to A Night in Emerald City and help Berkshire County Kids' Place raise critical funds. Enjoy dinner, entertainment, a silent auction and more, at the Country Club of Pittsfield. 5-8:30 p.m.
FRI MAD Crew Halloween Bash at The A | FRI The Equalites at The Colonial | FRI Story Slam (In a Slump) at Dottie's | FRI Andy Kelly at Bread & Roses Coffee House | FRI Pediatric Development Center Fundraiser w/Whiskey City at Proprietor's Lodge | FRI Blue Light Trio at Rainbow | FRI Spanish Guitarist Ben Schmolze at Mission | FRI Karaoke Night at Friends | FRI Sky Full of Dippers at Hotel on North | FRI Jay Boland at Proprietor's Lodge | FRI-SAT Wine, Cheese and Trees at Bousquet | SAT Generation X Rock at The A | SAT Lyndsay Anne at Proprietor's Lodge | SAT Django's Reserve at Mission | SAT Desserts & Live Music w/Hannah Bourdon at Dottie's | SUN Eagles Small Ensembles Concert at First United Methodist | MON Berkshire Athenaeum Book Club at Hotel on North | MON Jazz Night at Mission | WED Gruppo Mondo at Rainbow THU Comedian Gus Constantellis at The Colonial THU Haunted Hancock at Hancock Shaker Village THU Arrowhead After Dark | THU Throwback Thursday at Uncorked | THU Jim Witherell at Proprietor's Lodge | THU The Picky B's at Mission
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