WALLINGFORD — A tactical equipment supplier reimbursed the police department almost $4,000 after nearly 100 guns the department purchased last year were found to be defective.
The Town Council voted to accept the $3,994 reimbursement Tuesday.
According to a memo from Police Chief William Wright to Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr., the police department replaced 95 Sig-Sauer pistols last year, which were purchased for the entire department for $50,518 in 2005, with the same number of new pistols of the same brand.
Wright said Tuesday that the department decided to replace all of its guns when cracks were found in the frame of a gun that had failed.
The department purchased the guns from vendor Atlantic Tactical, a company that represents more than 800 manufacturers, according to the company website.
“From the very beginning of the transition to the new pistol,” Wright said in the memo, “we experienced major failures of the guns, most notably an issue where the spent casing failed to extract which resulted in a misfeed of the following round.”
Wright said police tested all 95 new guns. The defective guns were pulled from service and the old pistols were redistributed, which police are still using.
The department negotiated with Sig-Sauer and agreed to return the defective guns once police received the reimbursement payment from Atlantic Tactical.
The $3,994, plus the trade-in value of the old guns, represents the purchase price of the defective guns, Wright said.
The department is still trying to replace its guns, going out to bid for Glock pistols from a different manufacturer.
Police currently are field testing holsters, which need to be purchased for the new guns.
Wright said new holsters for the guns found to be defective were also purchased, and the department is working with the town law department to resolve that issue.
Police will go out to bid for the new Glock holsters, and plan to request funding from the Town Council for the new guns and holsters next month.
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