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Galena reserve officer injured during range training - KOAM TV 7

Galena reserve officer injured during range training

Updated:
A reserve officer in Galena, Kansas is injured in an accidental discharge of his firearm during range training Saturday afternoon on private property near Spring River.

Kansas law requires all officers to complete 40 hours of continued training each year.

The Galena Police Department conducts routine firearms training courses several times a year, as they were over the weekend, when reserve officer Mark McNemar accidentally shot himself in the leg.

"It's an important learning opportunity for us and it should be an important learning opportunity for other people, that mistakes happen, accidents happen," said Corporal Blaine Cornelius, Galena Police Department.  "Whenever accidents happen, we try to learn from them. That way it's a lesson and not a mistake."

Officials say the incident is a good reminder of the importance of safety precautions and regular training.

"It's important to have this training, plus other training," said Chief Larry Delmont, Galena Police Department.  "You've got your firearms qualifications, firearms training and your deadly force."

Delmont says unfortunately, accidents do come along with that training.

"It's going to happen," Delmont said. "You just have to be careful."

"Unfortunately, it has happened at our state training academy several times," Cornelius said. "It's happened all around the area."

As common protocol, the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office is investigating what happened.

Sheriff Dave Groves says this is not a criminal investigation, but any findings will be presented to determine whether training practices or regulations need to be amended.

Galena authorities say they are hopeful no further incidents will occur.

"We'd like for the people of Galena, and also the surrounding area, to keep the officer in their thoughts and prayers as he recovers through this," Cornelius said. "He's at home right now, healing up. He's expected to make a full recovery."

Authorities say Saturday's training was conducted in accordance with department procedures and deem the incident a "freak accident."
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