DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - Better training for DeSoto deputies is what the county's sheriff wants. He hopes to build a shooting range in Hernando. Sheriff Bill Rasco told abc24.com it's needed to maintain a high-caliber department. Residents living in the area see another benefit.
"I hear gunshots, which worry me because you never know. A bullet doesn't have any eyes," said Robert Maxey.
Maxey told abc24.com it's not uncommon to hear his neighbors shooting.
"One of those bullets could come through the house or hit me sitting out here in the swing," said Maxey.
The 82 year old is glad to hear the DeSoto Sheriff's Department wants to build a new pistol range.
Sheriff Bill Rasco told abc24.com the new jail under construction is the perfect site. He'd like to put the range on the back section of the 53 acre project, a place for deputies to train and, in the off hours, the public to use.
"We could do more training at all times," said Rasco. "New people come in to the department and they haven't been trained or aren't qualified and we don't have a course for them to shoot on."
When that happens, the department has to use another agency's range. Presently, deputy training takes place twice a year, always somewhere else. The department would have unlimited practice at a range of its own.
"We'd be better trained in everything," Rasco told abc24.com. "We could make sure our guys know when they pull that trigger where that bullet's going."
"It would make it much more convenient for them," said Maxey. "It might even make protection in the county better for us, for the citizens."
DeSoto's Board of Supervisors is considering the pistol range. Board members have to approve the proposal. If that happens, the sheriff's department will begin working out details, cost and plans.