Opelousas police firing range closed after nearby residents report finding bullets on their property

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A firing range used for weapons training by the Opelousas Police Officers Association is being closed indefinitely after St. Landry Parish government officials claim the facility is not being maintained and has become unsafe for residents who live nearby.

Parish Council attorney Garrett Duplechain said that individuals residing in an area behind and adjoining the range have discovered bullets located in buildings on their property, something they attribute to shots fired from the range on U.S. 190 between Opelousas and Port Barre.

Duplechain said parish president designee Amanda Cain issued the executive order closing the range until members of the Police Association can assure parish government that the range will become safer.

Council member Nancy Carriere told the committee last week that people living behind the firing range, which is located on property donated to the Association over 30 years ago, have told her they have discovered bullets that have struck buildings on their property.

“I’ve had no less than five complaints over the past seven months about the bullets. People who have talked to me about this saying that bullets they think are fired from automatic rifles are going over the (protection) berm and are apparently being fired up in the air.

“Several residences off La. 742 have been hit. The Police Association is responsible for the safety of these persons living nearby,” Carriere said.

Duplechain said closing down the range at this point will help solve the matter.

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