OPD to receive 5 new semi-automatic rifles

Published 11:59 pm Wednesday, May 6, 2009

In light of several recent acts of gun-related violence in Alabama, the Opp City Council took steps Tuesday to ensure that its police force would be prepared in the case of such a dangerous incident.

The council gave Mayor H.D. Edgar permission to purchase five new assault weapons for the Opp Police Department, at an estimated cost of $800 each.

“I think it’s something we need to do, even if money is tight,” Edgar said. “We certainly want to provide the necessary equipment for any incident that might come up. I’d rather have the guns and not have to use them, than need them sometime and not have them there.”

Opp Police Chief Nickey Carnley said the weapons would be M4 semi-automatic rifles.

“Each officer who would be allowed to use a weapon like this is going to have to go through a familiarization course and an operation course for that weapon,” he said.

Edgar attended a state meeting of the League of Municipalities in Montgomery on Monday, and said that “most all (cities) have them now.”

“We wouldn’t be doing our duty if we didn’t furnish them as quickly as we can, for our folks,” he said.

In other business, the council:

Read and approved bids on surplus city vehicles. Justin White was the high bidder for a 2001 Crown Victoria ($411) and a 2000 Crown Victoria ($401). Cobra and Mystery Enterprises of Andalusia was the high bidder for a 1998 Crown Victoria ($550) and a 2004 Crown Victoria ($950). No bids were received for an F-600 boom truck, a 1997 Kia or a 1997 Chevrolet Lumina.

Approved a lounge retail liquor license for Cody’s LLC, located on U.S. Hwy. 331.

Approved an ordinance providing for a “sales tax holiday” for 12:01 a.m. on Fri., Aug. 7, through midnight on Sun., Aug. 9.

Proclaimed the week of May 6-12 as “Nurses Week” and the week of May 10-16 as “Hospital Week.”

Discussed Saturday’s Covington Region Honor Flight, which Edgar attended.

“Tonitta (Sauls) and her staff, Dwight (Mikel) and Greg White, they did a great job of keeping up with everybody,” Edgar said. “These veterans are hardy guys. By the end of the day, I was about worn out and they were still awake and ready to go. I think the veterans were taking care of the guardians at that point.”

Edgar also thanked the OPD for providing a police escort for the veterans who left LBWCC-MacArthur’s campus at 3 a.m., and also escorted them on the return trip.

“I want to thank our police department personally,” he said. “At every red light, they were out, standing at attention and really showing honor to the veterans. They did a real professional job.”

Carnley said his department was proud to show its support to those who attended the flight.

“It was the least we could do to show our respect for them and what they’ve done for us,” he said. “Sadly, this nation takes for granted a lot of the rights we have, and (the veterans) are why we have those rights.”