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Police do gun swap

Andy Ouriel • Mar 14, 2014 at 4:20 PM

Perkins police commanders hit the bull’s-eye in finding a great deal for some new firearms. Township officials negotiated an agreement in which they can acquire new handguns, holsters, magazine pouches and ammunition without spending a penny of local taxpayer money.

Representatives from Kiesler Police Supply, a firearms company solely providing guns to police departments nationwide, said they’ll provide this equipment at no charge so long as police commanders give them their current arsenal of handguns, shotguns and ammunition.

In terms of value, the trade’s basically a wash. Both sides are swapping about $17,000 worth of weapons.

“This is a good move,” Perkins police Chief Ken Klamar said. “It’s a wise move. It’s fiscally responsible”

Klamar spearheaded trade talks for several reasons.

Among them: Some of the force’s current weapons, at least a decade old, often fail to fire.

“We are seeing some problem with our guns,” Klamar said. “There are failures with the triggers, failures with the springs, failures with the ejectors. There’s not one specific failure that we can pinpoint to get back with the vendor to say we are having this continual problem”

Klamar and other officers just want reliable guns to use in case of emergencies.

“I don’t need to stress (the importance of) a functional firearm” Klamar said. “The safety of the community is what’s most important. If there ever were an occasion when an officer would need to pull the trigger, we don’t want to anticipate a failure”

Perkins Township trustee Tim Coleman empathized with Klamar.

“When I’m hunting, I want to make sure my rifle or shotgun goes off,” Coleman said. “I know when it doesn’t, it’s very frustrating”

Klamar also wants to get rid of unused guns scattered throughout the police station.

Today, each officer receives multiple guns, including one to take home while off duty. But at least 50 percent of the officers don’t use their off-duty guns, Klamar said.

“It’s a liability to keep those guns in a safe,” Klamar said.

Once officers obtain these new firearms, they won’t be issued off-duty guns.

All three trustees seemed supportive of Klamar’s proposal and gave him the OK to proceed. It’s unknown when an official deal will occur.

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