Though there wasn’t a single homicide reported in Marion, Iowa, in 2012, 25 members of the local police department will personally purchase their own semi-automatic AR-15s to carry while on duty, according to FoxNews.com.
Police Chief Harry Daugherty said in light of the recent shootings with semi-automatic weapons at a Colorado movie theater, a Connecticut elementary school and at the scene of an Upstate New York fire, where firefighters were killed, Marion’s officers don’t want to be “outgunned by criminals.”
And who can blame them? Each gun is said to cost $2,000 per officer, Daugherty said in explaining the department’s proposal to FoxNews.com:
Under the proposal, the city will initially buy the AR-15s for $50,000. Twenty-five officers will then see roughly $55 deducted from their biweekly paychecks for the next 18 months to cover the cost of the firearm. At that point, the semi-automatic rifle becomes the officer’s property until he or she leaves the department or is terminated, at which point they will sell it back to the department.
The proposal was approved by Marion’s City Council Thursday evening, according to the Huffington Post.
Marion’s SWAT team members carry AR-15s, but Dougherty said officers don’t always have the luxury of waiting for SWAT.
“We have to do something and, at this point, the chances of the assailant having more firepower [than responding officers] is greater than vice versa,” Dougherty told FoxNews.com. “I want them to at least be on the same playing field when we’re going into these types of situations.”
“If something happens at one of our schools, I just don’t want to send my officers into a situation where they’re set up to fail,” the chief added.
Watch a news report from earlier this week on Iowa’s KWWL News: