WILL ST PETE POLICE CARRY AN EXTRA GUN?-Andrew Stelzer07/07/04
The St Petersburg Fraternal order of police has sent a letter to Chief Chuck Harmon, asking for officers to be allowed to carry a second gun. According to the St Petersburg times, the officers organization wrote in a letter to the chief, quote, Ã¢â‚¬Å“police officers around the nation have recognized this problem and in more and more numbers are carrying backup weapons.Ã¢â‚¬?
But many in St Petersburg say that an extra gun can only do further damage to the level of trust between citizens and police. Legends of officers planting their second gun on suspects, and the recent shooting of Marquell McCollough, and unarmed black boy by police have led leaders like the Darryl Rouson, president of the St Pete NAACP, to express fears about an escalation of firepower that could be abused by police.Ã¢â‚¬? Becky Steele is from the Tampa Bay area ACLU
Bill Profit, spokesman for the St Petersburg police department, says the request from fraternal order of police president Tim Ingram came as a surprise.
ACT Ã¢â‚¬ËœThis is not an issue that were currently addressing. This is just from a letter, I'm not even sure why they think that needs to be considered.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢
Tampa police are not allowed to carry a second gun; police in Clearwater and the Pinellas sheriffsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ office do allow second guns, but claim they have never been fired. Profit, from the St Petes police department, says there are two main points against officers carrying a weapon when the issue is brought up every few years.
ACT Ã¢â‚¬ËœWe carry a service revolver..its secureÃ¢â‚¬Â¦the other issue is...is it necessary? IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure that has been demonstrated that it is.Ã¢â‚¬?
Profit says there are not any immediate plans to further arm the police. WMNFÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Calls to a member of the Fraternal order of police were not returned by airtime.