Lehigh County District Attorney James B. Martin sent the Emmaus Police Department a check for $1,000 this month to help fund the Borough’s firearms range.
The range is in the Long Building in Community Park, and it’s the place where county-wide law enforcement agencies use the range to re-certify their officers each year.
“Many law enforcement agencies have to rent ranges or range space and time at gun clubs to insure that all officers are certified, said Emmaus Police Chief David Faust in an email. “We are fortunate here in Emmaus that law enforcement and Emmaus officials in the past had the foresight to take a vacant building and convert it into a range.”
Faust said he thinks volunteers with donated material converted the building into a firearms range in the early 1980’s.
This year, however, the EPD’s budget was squeezed.
“We made some deep cuts on discretionary line items for 2011 in the police budget,” Faust said, “and one of those cuts was the range line item.”
This meant Faust had to get a little creative in funding the range.
“Since some of the County employees (detectives) occasionally use our range for annual mandatory firearms qualifications, I requested some assistance from District Attorney Martin,” said Faust.
It didn’t hurt that Emmaus has some leverage with the county because one of its officers has also been assigned to the District Attorney’s Drug Task Force.
In his letter thanking the EPD, Martin enclosed a check for $1,000 “to help fund the Emmaus Police Department firearms range.”
Martin said the donation comes from forfeiture money, usually seized during drug-related arrests.
“[Chief Faust] and the officers under [his] command have always comported themselves with the utmost professionalism and have always been extremely helpful and cooperative,” Martin’s letter said, dated Feb.14.
Faust said that the $1,000 will help pay the annual maintenance costs and utility fees for the range.