Board of Commissioners approves shooting range for Sheriff’s Office

RAEFORD — The Hoke County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday, September 6, where they approved the construction of a shooting range for use by the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office

The proposed range is planned to be located off of Steele Road, near the Hoke County Animal Shelter and Emergency Management office, and needed board approval since it is set to be built on county land.

“We’ve kind of worked out the kinks, and we’ve located where we would like to put this range,” said Sheriff Roderick Virgil. “We have the money to do a lot of clearing, which runs about $5,500, and for the most part, we’re going to just berm up what we’re knocking down. It won’t have to be transported away.”

According to Virgil, the backdrop and berms will be constructed out of dirt and cleared debris, and the Sheriff’s Office only plans to utilize the range about once every other month.

“We’ll probably shoot maybe once every other month, and we’d normally be out there for about three hours,” Virgil said.

Virgil stated that the Sheriff’s Office has a need for the range because, currently, they are having to send employees to neighboring counties to do the firearm qualifications, which are required by North Carolina law for any firearm-carrying officer.

“Right now, what we’re doing is the new employees we bring in, we’re having to send them to neighboring counties,” Virgil said. “That’s a challenge because the whole agency also has to qualify each year, which is over 75 people. We’re trying to go ahead and move forward with this so we can get this accomplished instead of trying to maneuver 75 to 80 people in various counties.”

“It’s certainly something that you have to have,” said Commissioner James Leach. “There’s no need for us to keep going out of our own county to train folks that work here. We need our own, and it’s time we had our own.” 

The board of commissioners also accepted a $4,700 standalone bid offer for the purchase of surplus property off Old Farm Road by an adjacent property owner to the undeveloped lot.

The board was then given an update in regards to the status of the County’s audit.

“The auditors were here on the third week of August for the final fieldwork, they stayed three days, and they are doing the rest of it remotely,” said Finance Officer EJ Prevatte. “It’s still an ongoing process, but we hope to have it out on time by October 31.” 

The Hoke County Board of Commissioners will next meet September 20.