Council Agrees to buy new Guns for Emmaus Police
Emmaus Borough Council votes 5-0 at Monday night's meeting to spend nearly $17,000 on new firearms for the Emmaus Police Department.
Emmaus Police Chief David Faust came before council to ask for the new firearms. His request, he said, was prompted by the malfunction of four firearms in the department, with the most recent incident occurring while a new recruit was in firearms training at the police academy.
“We are at a crossroads with the firearms in our department,” Faust said. “In 2011 and 2012, we had budgeted for the firearms as capital line items, but with budget cuts, we kicked the can down the road so to speak.
“We don’t want to continue to do that until we face something in a street situation,” Faust said.
The department’s existing weapons are 13-years-old, Faust said, and are all in need of refurbishing. Plus, all of the department’s weapons need night sights. Together, these upgrades would cost about $400 per weapon, Faust explained, which totals a little more than half of the cost of replacing the existing weapon with a new weapon.
“The question we are facing is ‘do we recondition the existing weapons and put new night sights on them or do we replace the weapons?’” Faust told council, adding that his recommendation would be replacing the firearms.
The department’s new firearms are being purchased from Atlantic Tactical out of New Cumberland, Pa. The deal includes 26 1911 military-grade .45 caliber Sig Sauer pistols, plus new holsters, pouches and additional magazines, as well as two rifles and 21 grips. The cost for the Sig Sauer's is about $700 each.
Atlantic Tactical will also give the Emmaus PD a trade-in value of about $300 per weapon on its existing firearms, a total credit of about $7,000 toward the purchase.
In response to a question by Councilman Brent Labenberg, Faust said he would put the “life expectancy” of the new weapons at about 10 years. “In my 27 years with the department, this is the third time we are broaching the subject,” he said.
Faust said it would be several months before the new weapons are in the field, since each officer would have to qualify on the range with his new firearm before the gun could be used on the street.
Councilmen Brian Holtzhafer and Nathan Brown were absent from last night’s meeting.