Police to purchase AR-style rifles
by Courtney Warren
Jan 09, 2014 | 2455 views | 0 0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After the shooting in Tupelo last month and a string of violent crimes in Cleveland, Cleveland Police Chief Buster Bingham is asking the Cleveland Board of Aldermen if the police department may purchase semi-automatic patrol rifles for officers as well as a few other items.

"I'd like to ask the board's permission. We have a seized assets account and we have some equipment that we need to buy such as some better body warm video cameras and also some car cameras for the cars, and some patrol rifles.

"The reason why we're asking for patrol rifles is, I don’t know if you all are familiar with what happened in Tupelo prior to the Christmas holidays, but the gentleman that perpetrated killing the police officer there was using an AR style rifle and we need something to be able to at least combat that type of problem if we happen to run into it.

"These types of rifles wouldn’t be carried they would be located in the cars but they would be available for our use if we needed them," Bingham said.

The board granted his request and the weapons will be purchased through a seized assets account.

Bingham also reported that there is a decrease in calls and arrests, however there have been several violent crimes recently that have caused him to take action.

"(In 2013) we actually had a reduction in the number of calls that we answered it was in the neighborhood of around 1,500 calls from 21,606 to 19,000.

"Our felony arrests were down and our total arrests were down from 1,700 to 1,500," he said.

Bingham explained to the board that he hopes to begin a committee to address some of the violent crimes.

"Our violent crimes went up. We're in the process now of talking with some of the community leaders about forming a committee to look at why we are having some of these violent crimes issues.

"We're going to hope they'll have a meeting next week to see what we can do about addressing these violent crimes," said Bingham.

Alderman Danny Abraham asked if there was a connection in these crimes and Bingham said there was no distinct connection between all of the crimes.

The Bolivar Commercial will have more on the story and the creation of the committee as it develops.