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Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department gets new equipment

Photo provided The Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department has obtained new rifles, pistols and shotguns. Chief Deputy Jason Chang, left, is holding a new shotgun and Sheriff Jeff Starcher, right, displays a new rifle.

GRANTSVILLE — New equipment was recently acquired by the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department.

The department was able to obtain new firearms, Tasers and batons, said Sheriff Jeff Starcher. Starcher said replacing the equipment was a priority for the past two years.

The sheriff’s department is now equipped with the latest Taser technology.

A few years ago, the agency had only had one Taser which was one of the first models developed for law enforcement, Starcher said. The agency now has two newer models that promote accuracy and are less lethal.

Starcher said the goal is for each of the four deputies to have a Taser.

Along with that, it was time to upgrade firearms. Generally, agencies replace old firearms every eight to 10 years and Calhoun’s were about 12 years old, Starcher said.

“They definitely survived their expected shelf life. The shotguns we had were proving to be very unreliable,” Starcher said.

The shotguns had issues with jamming, Starcher said. Along with that, the rifles and pistols were beginning to show signs of wear and tear.

The new pistols and rifles were purchased at a low cost with the trade in of the older models. The shotguns were an even trade; the department did not to pay for those.

“I was very impressed with that. In terms of safety, it was something that definitely needed done,” Starcher said.

Starcher is the certified firearms instructor for the department and talked about the importance of updated equipment.

“Coming from an instructor’s standpoint, having good, reliable guns is a priority because we put our faith into these things. Our life depends on them; someone else’s life might depend on them; they have to work,” he said.

The reliability is significant because the entire department is S.W.A.T. certified. It is crucial for deputies to have reliable firearms, Starcher said.

“If we would happen to respond in such a capacity for a situation involving high danger, we usually have our shotguns or rifles with us and these were the things that were jamming,” Starcher said.

Working with the new firearms has instilled more confidence in the department, Starcher said.

“It’s a feeling of reassurance. When you need (it), it’s less likely to have a failure when we need it (when) our life or someone else’s life depends on it,” he said.

Candice Black can be reached at cblack@newsandsentinel.com.

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