GENEVA – The Kane County Sheriff’s Office will be allowed to proceed on drawing up detailed plans for a firearms training range.
The Kane County Board approved this week a request to spend up to $67,000 to pay architects to create plans for the facility.
Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez has said he would like the new firearms range to be built at the sheriff’s office at the county jail at the corner of Peck Road and Route 38 in St. Charles Township.
Perez and others at the sheriff’s office have said the new firearms range is needed to give deputies and other sworn officers in the county the time and opportunity to maintain the certifications required by the state for law enforcement officers carrying firearms.
Perez said the training is necessary to reduce the county’s liability during incidents in which an officer fires a weapon.
The sheriff’s office has sought to begin work on the new range since earlier this year when county officials deemed the existing shooting range at the former county jail site to be unsafe. Officials said that range, on Fabyan Parkway in Geneva, had become too contaminated with lead and mold.
Perez said the county could use money the sheriff’s office has collected from the U.S. Marshals to hold federal prisoners at the county jail, and from home foreclosure fees.
Some on the County Board had questioned whether the sheriff’s office could use private firearms ranges or ranges operated by other police agencies until a later date.
But sheriff’s officials said an on-site training range was needed to fit the training into deputies’ schedules.
“It’s more training at a lesser cost,” Kane County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Ron Gromes said.
The project had also been endorsed by Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen.
County Board members agreed.
“We’ve got to give our people the equipment and training to do their job,” said County Board member Mike Kenyon, R-South Elgin. “They have to be trained to handle weapons.”