CHAMBERSBURG (Sept. 10, 2019) – Community partners have the backs of the men and women in blue who diligently serve and protect Chambersburg.
Chambersburg Police Department is using donations from local businesses instead of tax dollars to upgrade its four-decades-old firing range.
WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital is the latest donor to jump on the CPD bandwagon. The health organization this week joined two other local businesses who have donated to the project.
David H. Martin Excavating has donated equipment and large quantities of soil to help build up earthen berms around the range.
Chiropractor Darren Eshbaugh has also donated equipment, including railroad ties and soil, to the project.
Franklin County Prison and the county’s Probation Department have provided labor.
This week WellSpan made the first monetary donation to the multi-year project.
A $25,000 check was presented to Borough Council and CPD Chief Ron Camacho during last night’s council meeting.
Valuing Community Partnerships
With a goal of increasing public safety, WellSpan CEO John Massimilla sees the partnership with CPD as positive.
“We are pleased with the partnership we have forged with the Borough of Chambersburg, the Chief, the Mayor, and all of the officers who serve this community,” Massimilla said. “We have found their professionalism, competency, and response to be tremendous when called upon and we wanted to be part of assisting the officers in their continued training.”
Accepting the contribution, Camacho said transitioning the firing range into a modern facility while keeping it in Chambersburg will be a big asset to the department.
Firing Range Improvements: Phase I
The project’s Phase I includes building up berms surrounding the firing range and installation of a higher fence. Later improvements will include technological improvements.
Comacho said the goal is operational efficiency and protecting the community’s citizens.
“These improvements will make (the range) safer for our officers as well as the community,” he said. “We are making a profound commitment to make sure it is up to standard.”
He said the goal is to complete the project without using tax dollars.
“We are extremely appreciative of WellSpan for their donation and support of our training effort,” Mayor Walt Bietsch said. As mayor, Bietsch is the elected head of the department.
Keeping the Public Safe
CPD works with the hospital’s “excellent on-site security” to address situations to keep the public, patients and hospital employees safe. In doing so, Camacho said hospital employees can do their job helping and assisting others who need medical care.
Bietsch, a former Chambersburg Borough police officer and long-time resident of Chambersburg, praised the ongoing partnership. He said when organizations serving the community work together, citizens benefit.
The mayor said he found it “very satisfying” to see local businesses recognize the importance of the community’s emergency services. He said having a modern, well equipped training center such as the firing range in Chambersburg is important.
“Every time we can train as close to home as possible, we are able to have more officers not traveling to far-away places which assist in overall budgeting and staffing,” he said.
Borough Councilman Allen Cauffman calls the range “a really important asset.”
“It’s worth its weight in gold,” he said.
To Support the Firing Range Project:
WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital’s donation makes it possible for the department to complete the first phase upgrades, but the complete project will cost about $100,000.
Comacho wants to complete planned upgrades using only community donations instead of tax dollars.
Businesses or community members interested in contributing can contact Chief Camacho, Mayor Bietsch or Sgt. Matt Bietsch for additional information. Call CPD at 717-264-4131 and leave a message for a return call.
Checks can be made out to the Borough of Chambersburg in care of the police training facility or police range project, then dropped off at the police station, 116 South Main Street, or mailed.