Ask anybody knowledgable of firearms and they'll tell you that the Perkins police department owning a Barrett .50 cal is like the Sandusky police department owning a 50 ft. yacht. And it would be like the Sandusky chief claiming that the yacht may be necessary for a possible rescue at sea, and then using the yacht on the weekends for "training."
Who knows: Some day the PPD may need to dress somebody up in a ghilly suit to low crawl down Columbus Ave to get off a spectacular headshot of a terrorist at the Hy-Miler gas station - from the Ohio Veterans Home parking lot.
Making fun of the idea could go on and on and on, but the bottom line is that a Barrett .50 cal is too much firepower for any criminal scenario a person could even dream up - much less a scenario likely enough to occur that would justify spending thousands of dollars to prepare for. In our urban environment, if the police can't get close enough to neutralize a target with a smaller caliber, then we shouldn't buy Barrett .50 cals -- what we should do is fire the entire police department for incompetence.
When presidential candidate John McCain visited Sandusky, the counter snipers on top of the building right here:
...didn't even carry Barrett .50 cals. They carried.308s. Why is that you ask? Because in an urban environment, you'll never get more than a 300 or 400 yard shot - the required ballistics to hit a target at that range are easily achieved by the smaller caliber. Besides: Law enforcement officers who use discretion when dealing with assassins or terrorists know that collateral damage in a hostage situation is just as much an issue as killing the offender. In other words: Why fire a .50 cal bullet which will sever a human being in half and risk the 4 people standing behind him when you can fire a .308 round and hit the offender center mass without harming the bystanders with more than blood spatter from the offender's chest wound?
It appeared that the McClung PPD (as opposed to the Klamar PPD) had different reasons for purchasing said weapons:
The PPD enjoyed playing sniper like a bunch of little kids playing cops and robbers.
Had the above listed website remained on the internet, you would be able to see the picture of the McClung PPD that the Sandusky Register references here:
But alas, the picture is gone. We're currently trying to locate it, but have been having no luck. In case you've never seen it: the picture shows about 15 PPD officers dressed up in black BDU's, each holding either a scoped sniper rifle or a tricked out AR-15. Some of them (or all of them, I'm going purely off memory) have headset radios and two officers on either end are wearing full ghilly suits - which are used by snipers for concealment. The caption below the photo described the officers as "operators." [eye rolling]
UPDATE: Oliver Hardy just posted the photo in the comments section. Reposted here:
Like I said: Tricked out AR-15s - many of which have suppressors. It's over the top even by a police officer's standards.
Times are new:
Chief Klamar is fixing the PPD's image, and my complaint of why the Register now thinks it's okay to snipe the .50 cals doesn't mean much because yesterday was yesterday and today is today. The people who are managing the Register today are not the ones who were managing it yesterday when the .50 cals were purchased. They should have made it an issue at the time the weapons were purchased but sometimes it's difficult to find a newspaper editor who understands firearms and their proper use. (Oh heck, even the purpose of concealed carry licenses. Doh!)
Don Lee fantasizes about the possibility of the Erie Metroparks manning the .50 cal....
...but I think a more funny concept would be to imagine Sandusky city commissioner Julie Farrar behind the trigger. Like a silent, deadly sniper, Julie is the Queen Of Subtlety (TM). If you missed her microphone slamming (literally) temper tantrum at the city commission meeting on Monday night, watch it below. (It's a long clip - with Tim Schwanger explaining his group's opposition to selling or giving away public park space and public sightlines to Sandusky Bay for the first few minutes. Julie's Farrarworks start at 5:13)
Yeah, throw the mic down!
Shrill and emotion driven. Does Farrar think that blowing her stack is going to neutralize Schwanger's points?
Again, this is another way the city of Sandusky fails in public relations: Farrar refuses to acknowledge Schwanger's valid viewpoint.
As far as dealing with businesses who take their proposals to Perkins township: Sandusky needs to make it clear to businesses seeking to capitalize on the waterfront that economic development is best served at a city-level by preserving waterfront access. If a business wants to eat up the waterfront and block sightlines, they are doing so at the detriment of the entire city - and themselves when one considers how gobbling up the public resource prevents the overall growth of the city. This is a perspective problem. Public waterfront access is an image thing that nobody expects a government hack to understand.