HPD requests city council to approve auctioning surplus of guns
HATTIESBURG, Miss - The Hattiesburg Police Department is asking City Council to approve their request to auction their surplus in evidence they have accumulated the last few years.
The inventory room where evidence is collected is close to capacity. HPD currently houses around 800 guns and other evidence in their room says Council President, Kim Bradley.
Auctioning the guns to an approved auction house in Brooklyn will generate money for the police department.
"General funds can't do it all. All the fines and forefiture funds generate funds every year and we need to turn these guns into money so that that officers can have the things that they need to do their job and to do their job effectively" Bradley says.
The money will be properly allocated and used for extra resources, such as, hazmat suits.
Lt. Jon Traxler says, "That (auctioning the guns) will give us more room to be able to store evidence instead of it being stacked on top of stuff. We can keep better track so there is no issue when it comes to court cases."
However, not everyone on the City Council approves of the request because they believe the guns will go into the wrong hands.
"There were three council members that were for it and there was one that was adamantly oppose to it" Bradley says.
Auctioning the guns will not only generate funds, but it will be done in a legal and 'safe' process.
Lt. Traxler says, "We are not selling it to the general public so it is better tracked. The guns are not just going out on the streets, which I know some people are concerned about. That is why we are selling it ot the auction house and we are taking this route to be able to track and dispose of those surplus weapons."
The City Council and Traxler also say that the auction will include other items such as, lawn mowers and refrigerators, but mostly guns.
If the request is approved, HPD can auction their guns immediately.