By Makya Kreamer
Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writer
The Baltimore County Council on Tuesday heard a proposal to appropriate $1.4 million to the police department for the replacement of faulty weapons.
The Baltimore County Police Department is asking for the council to use $1,463,507 of the Unassigned General Fund Balance to reimburse the department after it replaced all of its FNS-40 pistols with Glock 17s.
According to Col. David Folderauer, the FNS pistols had a defect that caused them to not fire when their slide was back. The pistols would later go off if simply jolted, which lead to the injury of three officers.
If this appropriation of funds is approved, the county budget will still be $2 million under the budget’s guidelines.
Folderauer told the council that FN America, the firearm’s manufacturer, offered a temporary solution and replaced the pistol’s strikers, but this proved to have faults as well. On four different occasions at the firing range the pistol’s roll pin came loose, causing the trigger to fall off, Folderauer said.
Folderauer said the department needed a permanent solution quickly. Without one from FN America, he said, the department decided to replace all FNS-40 pistols being used by police officers, deputy sheriffs and correctional officers.
According to Folderauer, the Glock 17, a 9mm pistol, was chosen because it is similar to what the department has previously used.
Councilman David Marks, R-Fifth District, asked if the decision to purchase the Glock 17 was politically motivated, but Folderauer insists it was because the firearm is “tried and true.”
Marks’ question stems from what he called a “nasty” statement from FN America in response to the police department’s decision regarding the firearm.
The $1.4 million the police are asking for includes the cost of the guns as well as replacement holsters, accessories, and safety features. Folderauer said the police department hopes to get 10 years of use out of each new weapon.
The councilmembers all nodded their heads in agreement when Folderauer stated that the faulty pistols were “unfair to the taxpayers.” County police said they are seeking reimbursed from FN America for all of the firearms they purchased and can no longer use.
The Baltimore County Council will vote on the bill on April 1, and if approved it will go into effect on April 14.