A local police is starting a new program that will help extend the lifespan of the department’s weapons. At last Tuesday’s meeting of the Hamburg Township Board of Trustees, officials, under the recommendation from police Chief Rick Duffany approved a memorandum of understanding for a new patrol rifle program.

Duffany said that they are shorthanded on rifles in the patrol cars, and many of the 6 they do have are showing wear and are in need of replacement. The chief said he was approached by the unions and officers in command wanting to know if he had interest in the program, which has seen success in some Wayne County and Oakland County departments. For the program, the township will buy the rifles for the officers, then the officers pay for their rifle through payroll deductions over 4 years. He describes the program as one that better establishes ownership and responsibility between the gun and the officer. Duffany said that this ownership will lead officers to taking better care of the rifles, and that it can extend the life the lifespan of the weapon to 15 to 20 years. The benefit for the township is that they will now be able to recoup the money and won’t have to buy new rifles every 10 years. With the guns assigned to individual officers, it also helps from a liability standpoint.

The Board of Trustees agreed to purchase up to 18 rifles at just over $1,200 per, plus sales tax, and another $900 for accessories like scopes. Duffany estimated that officers will pay roughly $21 per pay check for 4 years for the rifle. They noted the need to pay the sales tax because of the intent of passing ownership of the guns to private owners down the line. Even once it’s paid off, the weapon doesn’t become officially theirs, however, until they leave the department in good standing. (MK)