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Helm Announces Agreement on Alternate Location for Police Firearms Training

HARRISBURG – State Rep. Sue Helm (R-Dauphin) today is pleased to announce that a decision has been reached by the Pennsylvania Department of General Services (DGS) to use the firing range at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) to train state law enforcement officers, rather than build a facility in Susquehanna Township that was raising community concern. Helm was instrumental in finding the alternate location and worked with all the parties on finalizing the agreement, including DGS Secretary Sheri L. Phillips. 

“As soon as I learned of the issues that were being raised by community members about the proposal to build a firing range in Susquehanna Township, I immediately began working on a solution that would be acceptable to concerned residents, township leaders and state officials,” said Helm. “I believe this decision is a win-win-win for everyone involved.” 

DGS had plans to construct an outdoor, 20-lane firing range on state-owned land near Elmerton Avenue and State Farm Road, which would be used for training purposes by Capitol Police and state law-enforcement officers with the Game Commission, Fish and Boat Commission, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Department of Environmental Protection. But the plan was opposed by nearby residents and schools, who voiced their concerns to the Susquehanna Township Zoning Hearing Board late last year. As a result, DGS put the project on hold.

 Helm said DGS has made a commitment to use HACC’s indoor firing range for a year, starting in mid-April, and will make a decision at its conclusion on whether to extend the contract. Construction of the state-of-the-art, 25-lane facility was recently completed as part of HACC’s Senator John. J. Shumaker Public Safety Center expansion project. 

“DGS officials are very pleased with the HACC firing range and the low cost to taxpayers to utilize the facility,” said Helm. “Despite the assurances we were getting that the proposed outdoor range would be safe, you cannot have people living in fear. I would like to offer my sincere thanks to Secretary Phillips and DGS for listening to our concerns and reaching this reasonable compromise.”  

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Representative Sue Helm
104th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact:  Andy Briggs
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