Area officers upgrade tech college firearms range

The upgrade of the Technical College of the Rockies' firearms range, in progress. 

Area law enforcement agencies put state funding — and elbow grease — to work to upgrade the firearms range at the Technical College of the Rockies.

Because of the efforts of the Delta Police Department, the Peace Officers Standards and Training board for the West Central Training Region awarded $8,268 to remove deep gravel and replace it with compacted red shale/decomposed granite trail-mix material at the range.

Usually, such state funds go to training certified officers, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, much of such training has been canceled.

Delta Police Cmdr. Jesse Cox therefore worked to find another way of using the funds, while keeping them tied to law enforcement training and benefiting as many officers as possible, according to a City of Delta news release announcing the upgrade.

Several area law enforcement agencies use the firearms range at the technical college for mandated in-service training. Additionally, the Delta Police Department hosts firearms instructor courses at the Technical College of the Rockies range.

“Before (improvements), it was just 3 to 4 inches of loose gravel,” Delta County Undersheriff Quinn Archibeque said. “While it worked well, it was tough to walk around and maneuver on. It was deep enough that it was kind of cumbersome.”

He said it is also easier to collect spent shell casings from the compacted material than from the deep, loose gravel.

The grant award was used to purchase 230 tons of premium trail-mix material through Pioneer Landscaping Centers near Delta, which sold the decomposed granite mixture to the city at a contractor’s price.

Cox and DPD Officer Devan Ruble removed the old gravel — sometimes up to a foot deep — backfilled and leveled off the area. The material was then soaked, compacted and backfilled.

Archibeque and DCSO Sgt. Tyler Becker recently helped spread the material at the site, as did Cox, DPD Sgt. Stephen Furstenfeld and DPD Sgt. Nick Buffington. Olathe Police Chief Rogelio Pacheco and his officers, Eddy Jarrell and David Person, also contributed labor at the site.

“The improvements are great,” Pacheco said. “It was a good project initiated mostly by Delta Police Department. We all benefit from it.”

Archibeque also praised Cox, who was not available for comment.

“The credit certainly goes to Jesse and Delta PD,” he said.

The City of Delta additionally thanked Rod Myers, Devin Powell, and their team, who ensured those installing the material had the proper equipment, could use it and get it to the range.

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