Chief wants patrol rifle for every officer - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Chief wants patrol rifle for every officer

ST. CLAIR TOWNSHIP, Ohio - The St. Clair Township Police department is upgrading its arsenal from retooled M-16s to new SIG Sauer semi-automatic patrol rifles that fit will fit inside police cruisers.

Police Chief Donald Hyatt is gunning to make sure that every single one of his officers is armed and ready with a patrol rifle in arm's reach.

"It's about leveling the playing field," he says. "More often than not, police departments are finding themselves outgunned by the bad guy."

The department had a few of the guns before, but only in certain cruisers or back at the station where officers would have to return to retrieve one.

That just didn't make sense, the chief says. 

The St. Clair department is joining the ranks of other agencies around the Mahoning Valley who have become certified to use and carry these weapons.

He prays his officers never have to use them, but acknowledges a bank robbery last year at PNC Bank as evidence crimes are becoming more violent.

During the bank robbery, the gunmen jumped the counter and were aggressive to get what they wanted.

"They went in the bank and commandeered the place," Hyatt remcounts. "It was like watching tv."

He says officers knew they would be outgunned if they came face-to-face with the suspects.

"We didn't have access to anything like this," he explains. "So the whole way going there, what do you think is going through the guys' minds?"

The chief attributes most of crime in the community to drug problems so he believes the police are putting seized drug funds to good use by purchasing the new weapons.

Even though this community of approxmiately 10,000 may appear to be quiet, the chief hopes arming his officers with more crime fighting tools will send a strong message to potential criminals.

"People think they're pulling into Mayberry RFD when they're coming here, well they're sadly mistaken," he warns.

  • More From wfmj.comMore>>

  • Girl's eye impaled by hook in fall at Ohio store

    Girl's eye impaled by hook in fall at Ohio store

    Monday, August 25 2014 10:11 PM EDT2014-08-26 02:11:46 GMT
    DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Authorities say a girl suffered a serious eye injury when she tripped and fell onto a piece of a shoe rack in a clothing store at a southwest Ohio shopping mall. The accident happened Sunday afternoon inside the Dayton Mall. Lt. Ray Eaton from the Miami Valley Fire District tells the Dayton Daily News the girl fell into a 7-inch hook used for hanging shoes, and it impaled her eye. Eaton says the girl was taken to Dayton Children's Hospital. Her injury wasn't believed to b...More >>
    DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Authorities say a girl suffered a serious eye injury when she tripped and fell onto a piece of a shoe rack in a clothing store at a southwest Ohio shopping mall. The accident happened Sunday afternoon inside the Dayton Mall. Lt. Ray Eaton from the Miami Valley Fire District tells the Dayton Daily News the girl fell into a 7-inch hook used for hanging shoes, and it impaled her eye. Eaton says the girl was taken to Dayton Children's Hospital. Her injury wasn't believed to b...More >>
  • Van forces horse-drawn buggy to stop in robbery

    Van forces horse-drawn buggy to stop in robbery

    Monday, August 25 2014 9:50 PM EDT2014-08-26 01:50:43 GMT
    LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) - Police say someone forced an Amish horse and buggy off a central Pennsylvania road to pull an armed robbery. Lancaster Newspapers reports the buggy was carrying three people early Monday morning when a white minivan pulled into its path and forced it to stop. East Lampeter police say a masked man demanded money, after which the three threw their wallets to him. The buggy driver then drove into a field to get away. No one was injured. Information from: Intelligencer Jour...More >>
    LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) - Police say someone forced an Amish horse and buggy off a central Pennsylvania road to pull an armed robbery. Lancaster Newspapers reports the buggy was carrying three people early Monday morning when a white minivan pulled into its path and forced it to stop. East Lampeter police say a masked man demanded money, after which the three threw their wallets to him. The buggy driver then drove into a field to get away. No one was injured. Information from: Intelligencer Jour...More >>
  • Obama administration offers new rules for religious objections to health care law

    Obama administration offers new rules for religious objections to health care law

    Responding to a Supreme Court ruling handed down late in June, the Obama administration proposed a compromise path that it said would allow women to obtain contraceptives through their health plan.More >>
    Responding to a Supreme Court ruling handed down late in June, the Obama administration proposed a compromise path that it said would allow women to obtain contraceptives through their health plan.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms