REGISTER VIEWPOINT: A high-caliber decision from Perkins police

Perkins Police is taking another look at its mission and deciding what it needs -- and apparently, the list of things new Chief Ken
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

Perkins Police is taking another look at its mission and deciding what it needs -- and apparently, the list of things new Chief Ken Klamar thinks his department doesn't need are heavy weapons.

He wants to ditch the sniper rifles and automatic weapons and see about using the money realized from their sale to buy things such as stun guns and other items more suited to a police department that protects and serves a still-largely-rural township with a growing commercial and tourist center.

The idea has precedent: Sandusky police realized some useful money with the sale of an antique Thompson submachine gun that had been in inventory for decades. The difference here is Klamar is looking to unload some modern hardware.

Under Klamar's predecessor, Tim McClung, many questioned the need for .50-caliber sniper rifles and other sorts of weapons that, a couple decades ago, would have been the envy of an infantry unit. Indeed, the group photo of Perkins police officers posing with their arsenal was the occasion of laughter for some and chills for others.

We know McClung wanted a helicopter at one point, and there was consideration of a surplus armored personnel carrier. The jokes couldn't keep up with the apparent reality.

McClung's rationale for the arsenal was that, if it was needed, it was there -- not just for Perkins but for neighboring communities as well. Indeed, Perkins police dogs often were pressed into service for surrounding police agencies, and anyone who's exposed to the History Channel for more than two days straight knows the story of the Los Angeles police officers who had to enlist the help of a gun store owner when they were confronted by a couple of bank robbers packing some serious iron and no inclination to go quietly.

Klamar's idea merits some detailed consideration and we're not automatically endorsing a get-rid-of-all-the-hardware approach.

But we heartily endorse Klamar's look into his department's arsenal to weigh what's needed.