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The Range at Bay View Park

The Toledo Police Division pistol range at Bay View Park (now Detwiler Park, near Summit and Manhattan ​​Streets) was built entirely by members of the police department. It was ​​reported to be one of the best in the country, if not the world. It was estimated at that time to ​​have been worth $100,000, but the total construction cost was actually $5.60 because most of the materials ​​were donated or salvaged and the labor was performed by the officers themselves. Inspector Joseph ​​Delehaunty conceived the idea of the range and oversaw its construction.

Interactive Diagram of the Bay View Range
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Popular celebrities of the time sharp shooter and showman Ad Toepperwein and actor Tom Mix both visited the range.

The monument for fallen comrades at Bay View Park was said to be the only memorial in the country conceived and built by police officers, with an estimated value at that time of $20,000. It was demolished sometime in the late 1960s to make way for the Detwiler Golf Course. The blue plaques that were affixed to the monument holding the names of TPD fallen officers, in the custody of the Toledo Police Museum, are all that remain of the once grand memorial.

In 1940, the range at Bay View Park was reconstructed to accommodate shooting from a moving automobile. The course was known as the motorized rodeo and required about one year to build, involving 5,000 truckloads of earth. The completed combat course occupied approximately four acres.

On May 19, 1963, gas seeped from an unexploded tear gas shell range, injuring a four-year-old boy who had found it. The boy was treated for eye irritation but was otherwise fine. Twenty-one additional canisters were found and removed to the police armory. Captain Merle Gladieux warned the public to obey posted warning signs, stating the location where the shells were found was off-limits even to policemen.

On March 27, 1974, the Bay View Park police range was closed to make way for the Detwiler Golf Course parking lot. The range house is the only structure still remaining. An effort to restore it --- was only able to replace the roof, but much needs to be done to restore this local treasure before it is lost forever. Click here to see the current condition of the range house.

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