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Section A: General News


China Grove council delays police weapon decision




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Wilson County News
September 11, 2013 | 1,383 views | Post a comment

CHINA GROVE -- Police Chief Larry Davis stood before the China Grove City Council Sept. 5, trying to persuade the council to approve the use of a rifle he and the other city officer are certified to use.

As a part of the council’s agenda, they discussed the appropriate action regarding the police department’s purchase of a Colt M4 carbine rifle.

The rifle, an accurate and compact weapon, is used by police departments across the country, Davis said. Colt M4 rifles have a range of 500 to 600 meters and use 5.56-millimeter ammunition.

Davis said he felt the department had a need for the weapon, due to certain situations officers face while on duty. He added that when the China Grove Police Department is called to assist other local departments, they have been the first on the scene, but had insufficient firepower to address some situations and had to wait for support from other agencies.

Council members John Massengale, Mike Trainor, and John McRae all spoke in opposition to the department’s use of the rifle. McRae said he did not want the city to be liable for the weapon.

“I don’t see a need for an assault weapon,” he added.

Many members of the public spoke on the matter. Ron Steele supported the department, saying the police should have use of the rifle due to the benefits. He added that weapons of that caliber could be used for more than just assault situations.

After hearing from Davis and members of the public, the council members voted to house and secure the M4 rifle in the police department, and tabled any further decision at this time.

Also addressed by the council were:

•A dispute between neighbors whose dogs got into a fight.

•The appointment of Linda Gill as the new city secretary, and Latoya Johnson as the new court administrator.

•Three new business permits.

A special meeting will be held Thursday, Sept. 19, at 6 p.m. to discuss old business and the city’s proposed ad valorem tax rate of 9 cents per $100 of appraised value, up from last year’s rate of 8 cents per $100.

In attendance: Mayor Gene Ripps; aldermen John Massengale, John McRae, Doug Pruski, Kathy Ripps, and Mike Trainor; City Attorney Frank Garza; City Secretary Linda Gill; former City Secretary Adriana “Penny” Hieronymus; Court Administrator Latoya Johnson; Police Chief Larry Davis.
 

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