Neighbors of an outdoor shooting range to be built at the Public Safety Training Center west of Cunningham Lake will have opportunities to ask the Omaha Police Department about any concerns.

The FBI and City of Omaha are splitting the cost of the $2.47 million addition to the Public Safety Training Center at 11616 Rainwood Road. The city will pay $1.27 million and the FBI will kick in $1.2 million, according to a statement Tuesday from the Police Department.

A firearms instructor for the FBI office in Omaha said in 2014 that an outdoor range would help add a level of reality for training. The range will offer “more distance shooting” for pistols, shotguns and rifles. He said the training center’s indoor range has a maximum distance of 50 yards.

“The range would ... put people in position to get a background on what happens in a real environment,” said Kevin Hytrek of the FBI. “Most shooting incidents happen outdoors.”

Police officers will hold informational meetings with neighbors starting Wednesday and continuing through Feb. 13. A public meeting is scheduled for Feb. 16 at the training center.

Construction of the 20-lane gun range is slated to start in the fall. It’s expected to be open for use by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies late in 2017.

The gun range will be open Monday through Friday and one weekend a month from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.

The area around the training center is zoned for rural and industrial use, so it’s not thought that gunshot noise would be a problem. Sound levels in an outdoor environment vary because of several factors, including weather.

Police said the sound of the shooting range within a quarter of a mile would be similar to being about 10 feet from a vacuum cleaner. From a half mile away, the sound would be similar to being within 300 feet of heavy traffic.

To residents a mile away, the gun range should sound like a large open office space. From 2 miles away, police said the sound would be similar to a dishwasher in the next room.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1272, kevin.cole@owh.com

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