- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 20, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The National Police Shooting Championships is coming to Albuquerque - a city rocked by angry protests and a U.S. Justice Department investigation over 39 police shootings since 2010.

The city and its Police Department are hosting the National Rifle Association competition Sept. 13-17 for law enforcement members who can “select to fire in just one match or fire in all of the championship match events.” Albuquerque has hosted the contest for the last eight years, former Police Chief Allen Banks said in a fundraising letter he wrote to potential sponsors while leading the department.

Officials said the event involves a bulls-eye target competition held at Shooting Range Park.

Janet Blair, a spokeswoman for the Police Department, said the NRA event typically attracts 500 officers from across the U.S. and some international competitors. She said Albuquerque police also will send a team.

“It is an economic boost for the city and a source of pride for us,” Blair said.

The event comes as the city is entering negotiations with the Justice Department over pending reform following a harsh report blasting Albuquerque police on its use of force.

In recent months, demonstrators protesting police shootings shut down a City Council meeting and led riot police to fire tear gas during a violent rally.

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