After complaints about a sniper training exercise held Monday, May 16, in Pack Square Park, the Asheville Police Department will move remaining training to the APD firing range or the “secluded and empty” former Volvo plant.
“The Asheville Police Department is currently sponsoring a Sniper school for regional SWAT operators throughout WNC. For the remainder of this week training involving this class will be conducted at either the APD Firearms range or the secluded and empty Volvo Plant located on Hendersonville [Road],” the announcement from the APD reads.
Interim APD Chief Wade Wood, responding to questions from Xpress about the incident, writes that “while this training is very beneficial for the officers, the planning should have been much better to include the communication to the public above and beyond the signage.”
Members of the public complained about the exercise, expressing surprise at police snipers, SWAT vehicles and explosion noises (as part of the snipers’ sight and sound training) in a heavily populated downtown area, and saying they had little warning.
— David Forbes, senior news reporter