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Belmont County police going with standardized weapons

Updated: Tuesday, July 8 2014, 12:37 PM EDT
BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio - Officers at the Belmont County Sheriff's Office are carrying their own weapons, but that's all about to change.
Sheriff Dave Lucas said he's bringing the department up to speed -- and into firearm uniformity -- with a standardized duty weapon.
"It's something that we needed to do years ago," Lucas said.
He said the money for the weapons was obtained solely through the Sheriff's office -- and not the county's general fund -- during the last 2 years is the financial basis for this new trajectory that has three main targets:
It's cost-saving since the office won't need to provide ammo for each officer's choice of weapon.
"We'll only have to buy one ammo, compared to four or five different ammo," Lucas said. And not only are these new firearms about cost-saving measures, they're also about safety. Since officers are currently carrying their own weapon -- a variety of makes and models -- Lucas said there's a higher liability.
 "We'll have one platform, one ammo, and the training will be consistent with all that," Lucas said.
Lucas says the weapon has to feel natural. They also looked at the options that come with the firearm. The weapon has to be more geared to law enforcement for reasons of protection.
Fiscal responsibility was also considered. And, Lucas said, one of the biggest factors is the firearm has to carry a lifetime warranty.
"As a group, and not individually, we chose what we felt was the best weapon for the Sheriff's Office," Lucas said.
The ultimate firearm decision remains under wraps for now. Lucas says the Sheriff's Office is working with various local vendors to get bids and prices.
Once that phase is complete, the office will roll out the firearm to half of the officers, likely within the next month. The other half will receive their new weapon in the fall.

Belmont County police going with standardized weapons

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