Members say NYPD long range team is therapeutic outlet during trying times

A new addition to the NYPD Sports Unit is helping a lot of officers in many ways.

News 12 Staff

Oct 28, 2020, 11:53 AM

Updated 1,302 days ago

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A new addition to the NYPD Sports Unit is helping a lot of officers in many ways.
The NYPD Long Range team allows members to shoot rifles hundreds of yards into the distance, but members say it's also an outlet during a stressful time.
The group heads to rolling fields two hours north of New York City once a month.
Detective Paul Rivera started the NYPD Long Range team this past spring in the height of the pandemic.
“It's usually a thousand yards, which is 10 football fields, so a long way away,” says Detective Rivera.
He says there's more involved than just shooting a rifle.
"Mathematics and taking an object just like golf and shooting it out to different distances and being able to hear the impact,” says Detective Rivera.
Rivera is hoping to help other officers with an activity he found therapeutic as a Marine. It's more than just hitting a target for Officer Matthew Grau, it's a great way to unwind from a stressful job.
"It's very necessary, you have a lot of guys that you know they deal with things in different ways, a lot of us, we don't like to talk about what we're feeling so it gives us time to get a way and relax,” says Grau.
The 60 team members include two women as well as officers from other departments. For Sgt. Joseph Redner, it's also a good way to network.
"Now there's 57 other people on the job that now I've had the opportunity to meet and learn and become friends with and have them as a resource if I need something somewhere else,” says Sgt, Redner.
The team says it is always looking for new members and right now is trying to recruit more women, who they say are better shooters.


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