Sheriff's office implements gun program

·2 min read

Dec. 3—When Mike Griffis took over as Ector County sheriff in the beginning of 2017, he had major goals he wanted to achieve for the department.

The first of those goals was better pay for his staff.

The second was the start of a take-home fleet.

The final, which began a couple weeks ago, is a unified firearms program.

"In today's day in time, I think it's very important that everybody has the same weapon, same magazine and same ammunition," Griffis said. "God forbid, if somebody was in a bind and they needed another magazine or another gun, everything would be interchangeable."

All personnel at the Ector County Sheriff's Office are receiving a Glock 45 that comes with a Streamlight TLR-7, three magazines, a holster and magazine pouches. There's also an option for MOS sight. The firearms were purchased with seizure and donated funds.

Prior to the firearms programs, personnel had to supply their own firearm.

"A majority of agencies in the United States have been issuing service weapons for many years," Griffis said. "We hadn't been able to do that before due to budget constraints. We've been blessed in the last couple of years with seizure funds and donated funds and we were able to purchase weapons for everybody instead of having them furnish their own weapon."

Lt. Thomas Paz said the sheriff's office has purchased 200 firearms.

As of Friday morning, Paz said there's about 30 to 40 firearms that still need to be issued to sheriff's office personnel. Paz said that's one patrol shift and two jail shifts.

"They are excited about it," Paz said about the firearms. "Of course, it's hard to accept change, especially the ones who didn't carry Glocks before. It's going to take repetitions to get used to. Across the board, they are excited about it."

Griffis hopes with incremental improvements to the sheriff's office that it will continue to help with retaining and recruiting. Griffis said he wants to continue fighting for better pay for his personnel.

"I wanted to get the pay competitive and we've done that, but we need to work on that some more," Griffis said. "I told some members of the court a couple of years ago that there will come a time where you are going to have to pay peace officers more than you pay anyone else in local government just to get them to take the job. That was a couple of years ago and we are here now."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting