|Police trading up to better weapons - free to taxpayers |
By RICK GUINNESS, Herald staff07/12/2008
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NEW BRITAIN - The Common Council has approved a deal for the city's finest to get $81,000 worth of new guns, training materials and other items for $61,000.
The bargain price is because the police department is trading in $20,000 worth of weapons to buy bigger, better weapons with more power and more rounds of ammunition.
But the best part of the deal, which will be with JoJo's Gun Works LLC, of 122 Spring St., Southington, is that it won't cost taxpayers a dime.
The people police have taken down for drug dealing will be picking up the tab through money raised by asset forfeiture - the stuff confiscated from those involved in the drug trade.
"The drug investigation fund is an existing special revenue fund to which most revenue is credited as a result of the state's drug asset forfeiture program, the greatest share of the proceeds from which are returned to the police department for use in drug control strategy," a Wednesday council resolution read.
The fund had accumulated $61,350 that will be put toward the deal with JoJo's, in addition to the $20,000 in trade-ins.
Jody S. Joseph, the gun shop's owner, said he could not comment on the deal, which is not complete.
But Chief William Gagliardi said he was glad to do business with JoJo's.
Other gun shops up for consideration were out of state, whereas JoJo's has a relationship with Stag Arms and is strongly tied to New Britain, Gagliardi said. Stag Arms is a 5-year-old New Britain arms manufacturer with headquarters at 515 John Downey Drive.
In exchange for $20,000 worth of guns and ammunition, the police department will be giving up three types of shotguns.
Gagliardi said he initiated the deal to standardize the department's weapons, especially its handguns.
"We got rid of 9mm," Gagliardi said, calling the .40-caliber handgun a better deal all around.
Ammunition for the .40-calibers is now less expensive as well, Gagliardi added.
Most of the new weapons will go to the department's Special Response Team, a SWAT-like division of the department.
Even in the department's shopping list there is a category for "SWAT-specific items." The team will be getting two single-shot tear gas launchers and a .40-caliber multishot pump-action tear gas launcher, 20 foam baton projectiles, 25 weapon sighting systems worth a total of $15,000 and other assorted goodies.
By far the biggest-ticket item is the $53,446 in guns, which includes, according to Gagliardi's list:
n 20 Stag Arms .223-caliber rifles - by far the biggest purchase - worth $1,000 each. They come with collapsible stocks, flip-up rear sights, front sights, barrel-mounted lights and tactical slings.
n 16 Remington .12-gauge shotguns, each worth $832.
n Four Remington .308-caliber rifles with sniper packages, adjustable stocks, bipods and Leupold scopes, each worth $2,281.
n Two Heckler & Koch .40-caliber submachine guns worth a total of $3,590.
n 10 .40-caliber Glock handguns with three magazines for the bargain price of $440 each - for a total of $4,400.
n 60 .40-caliber Glock magazines worth a total of about $1,000.
n "Training materials" include six Glock 9mm "Simunition" training weapons with neck guards and helmets, which total about $4,000.
Rick Guinness can be reached at email@example.com or by calling (860) 225-4601, ext. 236.