Rockland County Legislators Ed Day (New City-Pomona) and Jay Hood (Haverstraw) today announced the approval of an engineering and construction project designed to mitigate the sounds of gunfire emanating from the Rockland County Police Academy Firearms Range located on Haverstraw Road and bordering the Towns of Haverstraw and Clarkstown. The initiative was approved at the June 5th meeting of the Rockland County Legislature.
“We are proud of the bipartisan effort that took place, one that was supported by many in government. The fact that this was accomplished without expending one penny of taxpayer money speaks volumes about the work that was done to solve this problem,” said the legislators.
Approximately four years ago, the existing police firing range that was located at the Tilcon Quarry facility had to be repositioned to a different area of their property. A new range that enabled law enforcement to continue necessary firearms training was constructed with the continuation of the existing $1 per year lease. The obvious taxpayer benefit was soon compromised by an unexpected volume of gunfire, an unintended consequence that the minor relocation brought to neighboring residents. The noise seriously impacted upon their quality of life, most notably in northeast New City and The Harbors in Haverstraw.
Concurrent efforts by Legislators Hood and Day that both limited the hours of firearms training and sought to identify the specific reason why the noise was being heard in areas where it was not before were pursued. Local residents even contributed by messaging the legislators with specific times the noise was heard, and that input was conveyed to the engineering firm employed to do the initial study.
Plans to remediate the matter were submitted, but with the County facing such significant financial challenges, funding of the $250,000 project was highly questionable. After numerous meetings with Legislators Day and Hood, the District Attorney, Police Chiefs Association, and the Sheriff committed funds from the County forfeiture funds that were obtained through the arrests and seizures involving various criminal enterprises.
Legislator Day said “The credit for this success belongs to no one person. I acknowledge my friends in the law enforcement community, District Attorney Tom Zugibe; the Police Chiefs Association; former Sheriff Jim Kralik and current Sheriff Louis Falco; and my fellow legislators, all of whom played a key part to getting this done. Most importantly I want to thank the residents for their patience and assistance throughout this effort.”
Legislator Hood commented, “I am thrilled this work will finally begin. This project is proof that many agencies and branches of government can work together to improve the quality of life for our residents. By using money confiscated from criminal activity we saved the taxpayer the expense of these repairs. I am proud of my fellow legislators and elected officials for seeing this through.”The project of installing sound absorption material on the concrete safety walls at the Police Academy Range will commence soon, and will be handled by a local Rockland County firm, Lorencin Contracting Corp. of New City.