Sioux Falls to Rely on Borrowed Federal Money to Purchase Police Handguns [OPINION]
Sioux Falls Police Chief Doug Barthel has announced the replacement of the 17-year-old Glock 40 caliber handguns worn by all officers. The new gun will be a 9mm and will hold two more rounds.
According to Chief Barthel, the costs is about $43,000. Not a huge amount of money.
The interesting and frustrating part of this story is this: the money to replace these weapons is coming from a federal grant through the Department of Justice.
In my opinion, this is another example of a city relying on the broke federal government to fund a purchase which should be done with local tax dollars. Surely, the city has $43,000 available to make this purchase.
Mayor Huether just told us the city finances are in great shape. So, why take money from the unit of government which has to borrow $.42 cents of every dollar it spends? Why put the country further in debt? Why do we need federal money to buy weapons to be used for local law enforcement?
This is the break out: total purchase approximately $43,000. Feds need to borrow about $16,000 and pay interest on the loan to make the $43,000 available. In the giant scheme of the continuing Federal overspending debacle, this is nothing. However, to most of us borrowing $16,000 is something.
It has taken the country a long time to get into the debt mess we are in. It will take a long time to get out. Every journey starts with a first step.
I wish somebody at the local level would take that step by saying, “The federal debt problem affects all of us. We have the resources to buy our own guns. Rather than enabling the federal government to go further in the hole, we will do the right thing and pay for these weapons ourselves.”
A modest first step, but an important one. The question is this: who at our city hall, and city halls, and county offices around the country, has the courage to say those words and act on them?