Sheriff shopping for guns

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

By Clint Confehr

Senior Staff Writer

Marshall County's Law Enforcement Committee on Friday endorsed Sheriff Norman Dalton's request to buy guns for his officers, but only after more prices are obtained.

"To keep everything on an even keel, we ought to get bids," Commissioner Richard Hill said during the committee's meeting Friday. "I think that would be the wise thing to do."

Committee discussion indicated that the actual disbursement of county money might be less than the $10,000 amount at which bids are required, but Hill sought competition among those selling the guns.

"You need to look at service," Commissioner Nathan Johnson said. "Somebody who's hungry might give you a deal, but ..."

Johnson probably didn't have to finish his sentence with regard to whether the lowest priced vendor is the best, but with the sheriff's willingness to shop more, Hill agreed to vote for the motion to get new guns for the deputies.

Funding for the officers' guns would come, in part, from the exchange of the old Glock-brand pistols as well as the county's sale of confiscated guns to the gun dealer.

One feature of the new Glocks is that the pistol grips come in three sizes so that they can be fitted to the officer using them. For example, Dalton said, the School Resource Officer in Chapel Hill, Deputy Lori Haynes, has a hand that is not as big as the sheriff's.

The department has used one particular gun shop for its pistols, Chief Deputy Billy Lamb reported. Dalton apparently found no reason to complain about the merchant, but advised the commissioners that he would comply with their wishes.