Livingston police to hone firearms skills on 'zombies'

rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.comOctober 16, 2012 

The Livingston Police Department is getting into the Halloween spirit by holding its first "zombie shoot" competition today -- a spirited approach to training officers on shooting firearms.

"The whole idea is for us to have a fun shoot to emphasize training and camaraderie within the law enforcement culture," said Livingston Police Chief Ruben Chavez. "We also want to expose law enforcement agencies to our regional firearms training facility, and this is an opportunity for us to do that in a fun way."

Chavez said there will be 12 shooting exercises at the Livingston police range at North Main and Bird streets -- including zombie targets -- using pistols, rifles and shotguns. Prizes will be awarded for each course, including two team winners and one overall winner.

The top prize is a firearm, but officers also can win trophies, plaques and cash.

Nearly 50 officers have signed up, but the event remains open to all current or retired law enforcement officers. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the competition starts at 9.

A barbecue lunch will be provided around noon, courtesy of Foster Farms. The public is welcome to attend to cheer on the competing officers.

Chavez said the idea to have a Halloween zombie-themed competition came from Cpl. Daihn Villarreal to help introduce everyone to the range in a fun way. He said the event would not be possible without many sponsors, including 5.11 Tactical and Alquist Arms in Turlock.

The Livingston police officers attend formal firearm training twice a year, which includes target shooting. Officers have additional firearm training sessions every other month.

Reporter Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.com.

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