The Parsons City Council heard plans by Parsons Police Chief Kevin Keplinger to upgrade the Police Department’s current sidearms with new weapons. The City Council approved the measure unanimously.
By: Lydia Crawley
City of Parsons Police Chief Kevin Keplinger received approval to upgrade the department’s sidearms at the meeting of the Parsons City Council. Keplinger presented a quote from AmChar Wholesale Inc in Rochester, NY. “They are the Glock Law Enforcement Distributor for West Virginia,” Keplinger said. “And they are out of Rochester, NY, but they are the Glock representative from West Virginia. They kind of control things here.”
Keplinger said that the department’s current weapons were becoming old and outdated. “We currently carry Glock 17’s of various vintages,” Keplinger said. “They were bought at different times. For logistical purposes, I have no idea round counts through some of our weapons. Mine, in particular, the night sites are dead on them. So, I knew we were going to need to look at updating our inventory.”
According to Keplinger, he had budgeted for the purchase. “This is an anticipated purchase,” Keplinger said. “I planned this purchase as part of my budget request at the beginning of this year.”
Keplinger said that the department was looking to update to the latest model used by law enforcement. “We are looking at Glock 47’s,” Keplinger said. “They are a brand-new design. They have been out for several years. They were originally a federal law enforcement design. It’s been now released to the public, but they are used by Customs and Border Patrol, the FBI, they’ve been through the ringer. They’ve been tested. They are reliable.”
Keplinger said that Glock weapons are what he and his department was most comfortable with. “I would like to continue to stay with Glocks,” Keplinger said. “That’s what we’re trained on. That’s what we’re familiar with. Nick is a Glock trained Armorer. The 47’s are the latest design of these.”
Keplinger said that the department was getting a substantial trade-in value on the existing Glock 17 models. “On a personal note, one thing you will notice if you look at the quote itself, 429 for each handgun, but we get a $285 credit for the handguns that we currently have that we turn in,” Keplinger said. “So, the actual cost is $144 for a brand new weapon for our guys.”
The quote included pricing for three reticles to assist with siting and three new holsters. The initial quote amount for three weapons, three reticles and three holsters was $2,551.77, but after trade-in value of the existing Glock 17’s was $1,696.77. The council approved the purchase unanimously.
Keplinger informed the council members that the city has seen a rise in shoplifting cases. “A couple of things we noticed an uptick on,” Keplinger said. “I hate to say petty crimes because they’re not petty, but particularly Shoplifting. We’ve had several instances of shoplifting complaints in the last couple of weeks.”
Keplinger said that the issue was serious due to the fact that third offense was a felony. “I would like to remind the public that shoplifting may not seem like a serious crime,” Keplinger said. “Third offense shoplifting, regardless of the value – it could be a 15-cent pack of gum, is a felony. So, it is serious.”
“We would just ask people to be aware of that and I don’t know if it’s the economy, what it is, but we are starting to see a definite uptick in that in both BFS, Walgreens,” Keplinger said. “So, we’re just kind of being aware of that.”
The next meeting of the City of Parsons City Council will be held on Tuesday, September 19th at 6 p.m. at the Charles W. “Bill” Rosenau Municipal Building at 341 Second Street in Parsons.