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Commissioners approve MCSD firearm transfer proposal

BY Paige Conley - pconley@perutribune.com

The Miami County Commissioners passed an ordinance during their biweekly meeting Monday morning that will allow Miami County Sheriff’s Office merit deputies to keep their weapons upon retirement.

The ordinance, a collaboration between MCSD Chief Deputy Dave Vitek, MIami County Sheriff Tim Miller, the county commissioners and county attorney Pat Roberts, will allow merit deputies to keep either their regular service weapon or their back-up weapon if they complete a full-term service in good standing, according to Vitek.

“So that’s a minimum of 20 years of service as a merit deputy without disciplinary action resulting in any suspensions over five days throughout that time,” said MCC Chairman Josh Francis.

In order to have the weapon transferred in their name, they must also receive a recommendation from the Miami County Merit Board.

Once the weapon is transferred, a new weapon will be purchased to replace the old one using the sheriff’s firearm fund which is a non-reverting fund dedicated to firearm training, cleaning supplies, replacement supplies and so forth.

The fund is built from gun permit and finger printing fees the sheriff’s department collects throughout the year.

“That fund can only be used for that firearm program,” Vitek said. “So it is not taxpayer dollars.”

According to Vitek, this ordinance is something many other departments, including the Peru Police Department, have in place and something he’s been working to obtain for several years.

It was crafted to mirror the department’s retirement policy and all requirements listed must be met for a deputy to keep possession of their weapon when they retire.

The ordinance is not only something for retirees, but something to motivate younger officers to stick with it and remain in good standing.

So while many businesses give their retirees a gift like a gold watch, Vitek said, the MCSD will allow their deputies to keep their service weapon.

“This is our version of a gold watch,” Vitek said. “Basically a thank you to those putting in years of service.”

The ordinance was passed in a 3-0 vote with commissioner Larry West making the motion and Alan Hunt seconding it.

The ordinance became effective Monday, the day it was passed, according to Vitek.

Vitek said he is extremely grateful to the MCC, Roberts and Miller for working together on this and getting it passed for the deputies.

“We just wanted to get ourselves caught up with the rest of our departments around us and say thank you to our officers who have put in many good years of service,” Vitek said.