A sheriff's department is doing whatever they have to in efforts to put new Glocks into the hands of their deputies-- including making gun control advocates mad.
Sheriff Richard Roundtree, head of the Augusta, Georgia-centered Richmond County Sheriff's Department has some 500 employees including no less than 237 certified law enforcement officers patrolling the streets of that deep southern county.
The problem is, his deputies have 11-year-old Glock Model 22s that Roundtree contends have seen better days. With funds limited in the budget, the Sheriff looked for an out of the box way to get new guns. For a solution to this pressing issue, he looked to the county's supply of old guns.
With some 1400 guns forfeited by criminals and donated to the department through community buy-backs just laying around taking up space, Roundtree asked for the permission from county supervisors to seek bids from FFLs for the surplus guns. The collection included everything from potmetal pistols to hunting rifles and collectable pieces.
The chief law enforcement officer for the county was optimistic about the prices, telling WALB, "With the controversy on the gun issues that happened last year and earlier this year there was a big media awareness of guns in America so that tends to drive up prices of weapons."
Sure, it drew fury from local gun control advocates who were mad the guns weren't destroyed, but it netted the county an impressive $152,000.
However this shouldn't have been that surprising to the advocates. After all, the sheriff supports the Second Amendment along with the rest of the 159 elected members of the Georgia Sheriff's Association. The state further recently passed HB60 which, after being signed into law by the Governor, mandates that all guns collected by law enforcement agencies in the state be resold to licensed gun dealers, rather than be destroyed.
Outfitting a Richmond County Deputy is an expensive option, with the Glock only being a small part. Chart by the Augusta Chronicle.
Roundtree intends to use the windfall for not only new Glocks but for a new vehicle for the crime scene unit, and still has about $62,000 to buy 420 body cameras and extra memory storage to handle the influx of digital video recordings-- provided the commissioners sign off on it.
County officials are thrilled with the move.
"It's putting the necessary equipment into the hands of deputies," Commissioner Alvin Mason told the Augusta Chronicle. "I look forward to more opportunities to generate revenue like this. I support (the proposal) 100 percent, and I can't wait to go to the full commission and hopefully put it into effect."
Roundtree says he has another 3500 guns to go through in the agencies storage and evidence rooms that have built up over the years. If it saves taxpayer dollars...