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West Columbia Police Foundation receives donation for the purchase of patrol  rifles

West Columbia, SC – The West Columbia Police Officer’s Foundation received a $10,000 donation Monday from a retired law enforcement officer that will help them put semi‐automatic rifles in more police patrol vehicles in the city.

David Arnold, a retired City of Columbia Police Officer that worked with Homeland Security to keep the capital city safe, donated the money at a ceremony at the West Columbia City Hall Wednesday afternoon. In doing so, Arnold said that he loved being a police officer and knew first‐hand the challenges that face them in this new era of homegrown terrorism and anti‐police animosity.

Arnold said that he wanted all officers to be as well‐equipped as they possible could be. He knows that an officer with a handgun is simply no match for a rifle in the hand of a criminal.

West Columbia Police Chief Dennis Tindall said during the presentation that the weapons that criminals have access to are different and that has made it necessary for officers to be better armed in a new way. “The people that we police are often more heavily armed and this donation will allow our officer to be better matched in the event of a situation where we must confront that better armed criminal,” Tindall pointed out after the formal presentation.

He went on to say that some of the city’s officers had already been carrying military surplus rifles for years, but Arnold’s donation would allow the number of officers who are equipped with long guns to nearly double.

At the ceremony, one of the AR‐15 military‐grade rifles was displayed on a table as was other equipment that is provided to officers by the non‐profit West Columbia Police Officer’s Foundation. This included a state‐of‐the‐art dark‐ piercing rechargeable flashlight and a tactical bag that officers use to carry their gear. Captain Scott Morrison, a spokesman for the department, said that the items that the foundation buys would be unavailable without the efforts of the foundation’s fund raising side.

Officers are required by the state to shoot and qualify with all the weapons they use and these rifles are no exception. Another firm has donated ammunition for the rifles and the qualification sessions and officials pointed out that more donations are expected soon.

The West Columbia Police Officers Foundation’s next event is their annual golf tournament that will be held in October.

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