City News

The Sedona Police Department has a pair of improvement projects in the works designed to help with officer training and safety.

The projects include improvements to the department’s shooting range near the wastewater treatment plant and expansion of the armory at city hall. There, the department’s additional weapons and ammunition are stored.

According to SPD’s Lt. Lucas Wilcoxson, range improvements will provide running water and restrooms for the people using the range as well as additional space for training and debriefing.

“Currently we have a porta potty and no way to wash your hands,” he said. “When we take a break to eat lunch, we have no way to wash the lead from our hands.”

Wilcoxson said the current classroom only holds a maximum 12 people, which is too small when they’re trying to do scenario-based training with role players and officers. Plans include a larger building but they’ll still keep the smaller classroom.

There are over 15 agencies that use the range and currently no one is paying for that use. However, when the department bought new turning targets, the Regional Narcotics Task Force gave some money to assist with the cost of the targets. In the past, the Sedona City Council questioned why no other agencies pay to use the facility. And, once the improvements are complete, council members said a fee structure may need to be considered.

City Engineer Andy Dickey said the project is under design and is 30 percent complete. The final design is expected to be completed by early 2017. Additional improvements will include site grading, the addition of storage containers and one additional classroom.

Dickey said the total line item budget is $726,250. However, the amount allocated for this project is $382,500.

“The extra storage, classroom and restroom/handwashing are all necessary improvements, to provide an efficient, safe and clean shooting range,” he said. “The shooting range is used by not only the Sedona Police Department, but also other agencies throughout the Verde Valley.”

In late October, council approved a contract with Skyline Builders and Restoration in the amount of $127,739 for the armory expansion. The scope of work includes construction of an armory station with two rooms — security devices and cleaning station — and plumbing as well as all associated HVAC and electrical work, in the basement of city hall.

Currently, all firearms and equipment maintenance activities take place in a designated, but standard, police department office. Work is set to begin early next year.

“The current armory is too small,” Wilcoxson said. “Heavy weight has to be placed on top of a support beam to avoid it sinking through the floor and into the underground garage. Also there is no ballistic protection in the current armory. We are using a current corner space in the underground garage to build the armory with ballistic protection.”

Dickey added, “A large driving factor for the improvement is the safety of those in and around city hall if an accident was to occur. However, the result of a new and improved armory will lead to a better maintained and prepared police force.”


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