The Bonnyville Shooting Sports range appears to be a likely candidate for an RCMP training session, potentially bringing in hundreds of officers from around the eastern half of the province.
Constable Matt Nadeau explained to town council on Wednesday that both him and Sargent Sarah Parke at the detachment had been working on getting the Alberta RCMP’s training unit to host a firearms session in Bonnyville, instead of officers having to go to Grande Prairie, Rocky Mountain House or Lethbridge. All officers must be trained before carrying a firearm and have to get certificated at a session every year. This would save not just Bonnyville officers – but officers across the northeast of Alberta- a very long drive.
Nadeau was happy to report that a senior instructor with the RCMP visited the range and found it adequate to their needs. The final paperwork still needs to be filled out but Nadeau says he thinks it likely it will be approved.
Nadeau also added the potential economic boom to the town. The RCMP has about 2,000 officers trained to use rifles and wants to train another 800. Initial training is a week-long course while re-certification only takes a day. While some officers might attend training in other parts of the province, it’s likely that many hotels and restaurants will see an uptick in business from the training officers.
Should every be sorted out, the first Bonnyville training session will likely be in the fall.