By Daniel Langhorne, Special to the Independent
Laguna Beach police officers will start shooting their rifles later this year at the FBI’s Jerry Crowe Regional Tactical Training Facility in Irvine, following the City Council’s approval Tuesday of a Memorandum of Understanding.
The California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training now require law enforcement agencies to provide a 16-hour rifle training course and Laguna Beach’s firearms range lacks the space to accommodate this amount of shooting. Laguna Beach police have 55 sworn personnel among its ranks.
“Additionally, police range staff are sensitive to the noise created by the rifles and strive to limit the noise impacts to the surrounding neighborhood,” Police Chief Laura Farinella wrote in a staff report.
Laguna Beach officers will use the facility at 1 Magazine Rd., when it’s available, which comes with no cost to the city. Qualified range masters will be present for all training and officers must record the quantity and type of ammunition discharged at the range.
Crowe was an L.A.-based FBI agent who delivered the ransom money in the Frank Sinatra Jr. kidnapping and led a SWAT Team during a two-hour shoot out with the Symbionese Liberation Army, a terrorist group whose members kidnapped newspaper heiress Patty Hearst. He later became a respected firearms instructor. The FBI renamed its Regional Training Center at the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro to honor the Crowe in 2011. He died in 2017 after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease.