Local News

April 20, 2014

 ‘Old timers’ qualify at sheriff’s office shooting range

They may not be active law enforcement officers anymore, but they’re not ready to turn in their weapons just yet.

Thirty local officers who have retired from law enforcement turned out and put on an impressive display of their shooting prowess during the annual Old Timers Shoot at the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office Shooting Range on Old Prater’s Mill Road recently.

The officers, who together have a total of more than 850 years of law enforcement service, came to the event to qualify for another year of being able to earn a federal license to carry a concealed weapon.

Under the guidance of Whitfield County Training Instructor Phillip Herren and other active members of the sheriff’s office, the 29 men and one woman all qualified for their licenses after shooting a total of 30 rounds at targets from several distances, including 25 yards, 15 yards, seven yards and three yards, behind and without barricades, crouching and standing.

“They have to qualify with the type of weapon they’re going to carry,” Herren said.

The retirees also have to attend a use of deadly force class, Herren said.

“That’s what we did this morning in the classroom,” he said. “We discussed use of deadly force, use of force, concealed carry, and discussed where you can, where you can’t carry with the license. If you carry anywhere in the country, you have to obey that state’s law so you have to be familiar with it.”

After the qualifying sessions had come to an end, the retired officers headed inside the range building for another reward — a lunch featuring grilled hamburgers and hot dogs.

Participating officers represented several agencies, including the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office, Dalton Police Department, FBI, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, state Department of Natural Resources and Murray County Sheriff’s Office. The oldest was 72.

“We do this every year,” Herren said. “The sheriff provides the range, we provide everybody with hamburgers and hot dogs, and it’s just a good time for everybody. A lot of these guys worked together 20, 30 years ago. They get to see each other again, swap lies, tell stories and have a real good time. I’ve already heard some of them saying, ‘See ya next year.’”



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