In the light of the officer involved shooting in Walton County over the summer, Loganville Police Department is providing back-up guns for its police officers.
On July 26, a Walton County Sheriff’s Deputy got into a foot pursuit and subsequent altercation with a man after responding to a call about a suspicious person at a home on social Circle Fairplay Road in Walton County. During the altercation, the man was able to get the gun from the Deputy before fleeing into the woods. The ensuing manhunt resulted in the man, William Earnest Brooks, 43, being shot and killed by responding law enforcement officers. The shooting is currently under investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations.
As a result of this incident, Loganville Police Chief Mike McHugh and Deputy Chief Dick Lowry made the case to council members on Monday night to spend $11,030.40 from federal drug forfeiture funds to purchase 30 Smith & Wesson .38 special revolvers and 30 leather ankle holsters to equip officers with a back up weapon. Lowry said the had looked into other departments around the community that provide these back-up weapons and found the Monroe Police Department is one that does.
“Almost everybody approves allowing their officers to carry back up weapons, but don’t all provide the weapons,” Lowry said, adding that he’s carried a one for 24 years. “But not everybody can afford it.”
It was noted by Councilman Skip Baliles that there had not been an officer involved shooting in the City of Loganville for about 20 years prior to 2012 when there was a hostage situation and two shootings within a 3 week period. But after the incident in Walton County over the summer, “as well as untold numbers of similar events occurring in every part of the country,” Loganville police officials determined it was necessary to take every possible measure to ensure the safety of officers by providing back-up weapons for them while they are on duty with the department.
This purchase, as well as the purchase of four 2019 Ford Explorer Pursuit Vehicles at a total cost of $143,046.12, will be voted on at Thursday’s Loganville City Council Meeting. The funds for the vehicles also would come out of the federal drug forfeiture account.