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Police to purchase M-16s

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By Stephen Lega

The Lebanon City Council has approved allowing the Lebanon Police Department to purchase 17 M-16 rifles. The council voted 5-0 to approve the purchase Monday evening.

Councilman Darin Spalding was not present for Monday's meeting.

Lebanon Police Chief Wally Brady made the request, saying he wanted to have patrol rifles for his officers. The police department has the opportunity to purchase the rifles for $50 apiece plus $30 to ship each rifle.

Brady said they would arrive as fully automatic weapons, but would be converted to semiautomatic weapons. He added that many departments are moving away from shotguns because it sends multiple projectiles, which can increase liability risks for the officer and the department.

He added that the department has two firearms instructors who can train other officers on the use of the rifles, and the rifles would be purchased with asset forfeiture funds.

Major Greg Young, the assistant police chief, said it could be a year before the department receives the M-16s.

In other police news:

- Brady said an eight-head camera system has been installed at the police department to monitor activities inside and outside the department.

- Chief Dispatcher Rhonda Orberson has resigned as of Dec. 7. Sheila Murrell has been appointed as chief dispatcher on a temporary basis.