City shouldn't give officers gun allowance

May 7, 2013

My topic this week is the police union contract.

Starting in 2014, police officers will now be able to buy a gun from their uniform allowance. A one-time gun purchase is allowed during the officer’s career. The officer has to be employed on a full-basis for five years before requesting a gun.

Even though the guns will be bought with tax dollars, the guns will become the property of the officers unlike the service revolver that has to be handed back into the city. If the officers believe they need additional backup protection, the city should provide the guns and the guns should become city owned property. If the officer already owns his own second gun, he should not be eligible to apply for another additional gun out of the uniform allowance. Equipment, especially guns, bought and paid for through tax dollars should never become the property of the officer.

When the guns become the property of the officer, could the officer possibly end up reselling the gun at a later date profiting even more off the taxpayer? The resold guns could end up in the wrong hands. They could be involved in crimes in the community or be used to injure one of our own officers. There are 45 officers with a possibility of placing 45 guns on the street. At least if the city owned the guns, it could have better control over the guns, preventing the guns from causing tragic consequences.

Adding guns to the uniform allowance may indicate that the city may be too liberal with the uniform allowance. In the past, $750 would be paid directly to the officer. There would be no documentation of what was spent and whether or not there was any money left over to refund back to the taxpayer if the officer did not use his share of the allowance for the year. Under the new contract, the expenditure of the uniform allowance will now be documented, requisitioned, and the items delivered to the city so the city will be in full control of the expenditure. Carrying over the uniform allowance from year to year is not permitted. A yearly inventory of the officer’s government issued equipment should be done throughout the officer’s tenure with the city.

Until next week, buying guns out of tax dollars so officers can keep the guns as their own and possibly resell them at a profit is not a good use of our tax dollars. The city needs to be more accountable and responsible for decisions they make with our tax dollars. Making poor decisions takes money away from other projects that are needed within the city.



Sharon you have managed to get a your 5 minutes every week. However never once have I heard you say anything positive or redeeming about the city you proclaim to love. In fact it seems to me you like to cause problems and controversy where there should be none. I'm not sure what you get out of this except perhaps illusions of grandiose ideas about your importance to the running of Sandusky and keeping our officials on the up and up. I have seen you at many meetings where your soul purpose was to find what other people who are being proactive were doing wrong. You never seem to offer a positive solution or a positive opinion on how things are handled and I think that is just sad.

As for the guns for our law enforcement, when you are in the military the give you an uniform allowance. As long as you come to work in the proper uniform that looks good and meets regulations, you can spend that money on whatever you want. It can be guns, or potato chips and beer. Most do spend their money on uniforms though. Previously Sandusky police could do the same. Now however they are monitored on what and where the spend their allowances. Implementing a system of credits to a certain catalog. So already we are ensuring that tax payers money is spent more wisely. As far as a single gun credit allowing a purchase after 5 years of service and only once in a career this makes sense. Our officers need to carry a back up weapon, isn't it better that they purchase it through a dealer that is selling LE grade weapons? I'm sure that most would not take advantage of this allowance, because frankly they can't.


I totally agree with the lack of positiveness! But that is how the simple operate.


Congratulations, Sharon. You've now gone from annoying busybody to complete idiot.

Okay, Register, sometimes you print good stuff and sometimes you print crap. That's the nature of the beast. But this? This is pure inanity on a GOOD day, and trust me: Today is NOT a good day.


The people have spoken Sharon you haven't got a clue.

Free Man

OMG how stupid are some people, these men and women put their life on the line everyday and we can't even give them this small showing of our appreciation for keeping us safe and sound. They should be given more than this and if I had my way they would. Very stupid on someones part to not help them with this cost. Can you say, STUPID!!


I notice most commenters on this blog are new to the blog scene supporting the officer's ability to keep their taxpayer funded gun after retiring from the force (the basis for Ms. Johnson's blog but exaggerated on by some of the bloggers). I wander if they are all cops?


Most? there's only a few names I don't recognize. Most have been here quite awhile.

Tsu Dho Nimh

Most of us are active posters!


When I was in the military I had to turn in my guns. I put my life on the line way more than the cops around here do. Should I have been able to keep mine? The answer is no. I had to turn them into the armory. What's the difference?


Not true for those in the teams. The common soldier yes, but not for some special forces.

BULLISDEEP's picture

No military gets to keep their gov issue gun after leaving the service. If they did it is stolen .


No military personnel keeps their weapons. Special forces included. Trust me, I know.


In the present, modern times they can. They have to get the proper tax stamp and other documentation, but they can and do.


Please go away oldster.


And before you ask kURTje, yes, I have a CAR.


without a dout


I appreciate the job cops do. BUT please remember, they are well paid and compensated with great benifits. They are doing the job they applied for. IMO This would not be an issue if it were any other dept but Sandusky. They truly earned the second guessing from the public.

Good 2 B Me

My topic this week is how you sound like a Third Grade Student when starting a story off with: My topic this week is...


PavedParadise is another Sandusky basher. Just read his previous posts and that will explain his dopey comment.

G George I du kno

Seriously Sharon! So before they could go out and spend money on anything they wanted. Now they are accountable for what they buy. I suppose you want their sweaty shoes and t-shirts they buy with uniform allowance back also? What a joke! Some of them should pay for a gym membership with it though!


hey taxpayers lets give them a donut allowance and for those officers whom love them donuts lets give them a jenny craig allowance LOL


Lol. Sharon is so out of touch. Officers haven't carried service "revolvers" in decades. This is nearly equivalent to the anti-gun nuts calling a semi automatic firearm and assault weapon.

The Answer Person

SHUT UP! One more stupid opinion/observation one week after another. SHUT UP!


Why are most of you bashing Sharon who is an active citizen questioning her local government? She does has a right to her opinion as do all of you. Tax money is tight.

"Until next week, buying guns out of tax dollars so officers can keep the guns as their own and possibly resell them at a profit is not a good use of our tax dollars. The city needs to be more accountable and responsible for decisions they make with our tax dollars. Making poor decisions takes money away from other projects that are needed within the city."
"Commissioner Wes Poole voted against the contract after realizing city funds would pay for firearms officers could keep forever, even after leaving the department."

I think most of you are missing Sharon's message. Don't shoot the messenger. Sharon provided some information about the union contract. Jock straps, sweaty shoes and t-shirts should not be compared to a tax payer bought firearm to be given away at retirement. Sharon is concerned about the wise use of tax payer money. Is a 1/4% Sandusky city income tax increase coming in the future?

The Bizness

We are bashing her because we don't agree with her...

Oh and she doesn't really seem to ever offer any real answers to the problems she poses.

And well I just like to point out that I don't like the woman.


For bloggers who don't like the woman, you all seem to have a lot to say and continue reading her blog. If you feel that way about her, why give her the time of day? If the second backup gun is a dire need, the city should provide the gun. I don't think anyone would have a problem with giving the police officers a backup gun. The problem here is that they get to keep the gun that was bought with tax dollars. How many more cities allow the tax dollars to be spent in this way or are we the only city buying guns for officers so they can keep them? The city already furnishes the officer a main gun but they have to turn the gun back in; they don't get to keep it. The second gun should be treated the same way.


Right on DarkHorse.

I always get a kick out of those folks (pots) calling the kettle black.

I for one do not see Ms. Johnson's posts as bashing the City-rather offering enhanced conversation on City issues impacting our tax dollars. Those "pots" bashing Ms. Johnson are attempting to silence her out of fear. Well "pots'--it isn't working.

Oh, my private work buys me tools but I don't get to keep them for use or resale when I quit or retire. Why should my tax dollars go to purchase a gun for future private use?


Enhanced converstations do not consist of ignorance and illogic.


So, Sharon, previously, each officer received $750 per year, with no accounting of how it was spent, and without a peep of protest from you. They could have purchased a steady stream of guns with that money, without anyone being the wiser, and yet you sat in silence. Heck, they could have spent it on a flat screen TV, or a jetski, for all you or anyone else would have known, but you were unconcerned. They also got to keep everything they bought.

Now, it's been changed so they have to account for how they spend it, and gun purchases are limited to one in a career, and presumably, that gun will be documented. Suddenly, you have a problem. Suddenly, you're sure that those we entrust to protect us are going to start selling guns out of a back alley off Hancock Street.

But hey, I understand - logic is hard, especially when you can't manage to write above a grade school level. (I had a seventh grade English teacher who assigned a one page composition each week. She made it clear that beginning each one with the same phrase result in a lot of zero grades.)

Many departments consider their officers to be effectively on duty whenever they are at large withing the city limits, and some explicitly require them to carry. It's perfectly reasonable for them to be allowed to select a secondary weapon for those purposes based on their own preferences, and be reimbursed. The department may have little or no use for such a weapon after the officer's tenure concludes - it could have features specifically for a left handed shooter, use a different caliber of ammunition than the department's default service weapon, or be otherwise unsuitable for re-issue, in which case the department would have to sell it, probably at a loss.

Many employers offer benefits with ongoing value and do not recapture them at the end of an employee's tenure. Studies have shown that such gestures garner far more employee satisfaction per dollar spent than straight increases in wages or salaries (I'll personally always favor a bigger paycheck, but I'm apparently not typical.) It would probably require at least a $1000 increase in ongoing baseline annual wages to gain as much employee satisfaction, morale, and retention as this one time $750 gun allowance, if you're concerned about responsible stewardship of your tax dollars.

There's no basis for differentiating this benefit from all the corporate holiday gifts, cellphone allowances, etc. offered throughout both the public and private sectors, unless, of course, you're just expressing an irrational knee-jerk to the fact that guns are involved. That seems likely, given your demonstration of gross ignorance on that topic (police haven't carried revolvers for a long time.)


Centauri, the problem is that her column is consistently rife with ignorance and failures of basic logic. She makes no attempt to educate herself regarding her "topic this week" beyond the most rudimentary surface skimming. I've pointed out how this change actually increases accountability, limits and hence reduces the number of guns they can get this way, and actually saves the city money. The fact that Wes Poole shares her ignorance and lack of sound reasoning doesn't make it any less of a problem.
For those of you citing military policies, they have to return weapons ISSUED to them, which remain government property. As has already been mentioned, they can keep whatever they purchase with their unaccountable uniform allowance, the same as the FORMER policy here that is being tightened. Do better than Sharon and work the logic before you spout off.