Newspaper boxes headed to shooting range |

Newspaper boxes headed to shooting range

Matt Zalaznick

Reporters like to go for ride-alongs with police while cops like newspapers to run composite sketches to help them catch suspected criminals. On the other hand, cops hate bad press and reporters don’t like having details of crimes kept from them – even when information is withheld to protect a criminal investigation.

But a recent “donation” of two old newspaper boxes by the Vail Daily to the Avon Police Department has brought the media-police relationship to a strange, new level of cooperation.

“We don’t use them as targets, but they’re a great little tool,” Avon police Sgt. Alan Wilson says.

A tool for what?

“They said they weren’t going to shoot the boxes, but they said the boxes were the perfect size for training,” says Mark Bricklin, the Vail Daily’s director of marketing and circulation. “I wasn’t sure if they meant the police or the bad guys were going to hide behind them.”

Wilson says since there are so many newspaper boxes around, they could come in handy if an officer in pursuit of an armed evil-doer needs some cover.

“There are newspaper boxes on just about every corner,” Wilson says.

The two bright blue boxes will be taken to the shooting range where officers will learn how to give themselves the most cover behind them. Easily movable, the boxes are just another way police can prepare to protect themselves on the streets, Wilson says.

The newspaper boxes are most often damaged by cars, trucks or buses bumping into them, says Bricklin, who adds the newspaper is happy to help.

“Under the shiny blue coats of our newspaper boxes lies the badge of law enforcement,” Bricklin says. “I think it’s a terrific, new career for our news racks that have served the community so well and so proudly, to go into law enforcement.

“It has been a goal of many of our news racks,” he adds.

Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 606, or via e-mail at

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