By Bonnie Culverhouse
Minden Police Department is holding a raffle to help them keep the citizens safe. Beginning August 1, MPD will give away 30 guns in 30 days.
Chief Jared McIver said his plans are to use the money to train and equip officers for a Special Response Team (SRT).
“They tried to have something years’ back, like a SWAT team, but it never really completely formed,” McIver said. “SRT will respond when we have a bomb scare, active shooters or hostage situations.”
The chief said the team will include hostage negotiators and combat medics.
“If we need SRT or SWAT now, we have to call in another parish and wait for them to come in and do things we can do if we have all the necessary equipment and training,” the chief said.
There will be eight to 10 primary officers on SRT with four to five alternates to fill any voids.
“We will be using schools and maybe some businesses to train for active shooters,” he said. “And we have cross training from other parishes that already have SRT or SWAT.
The chief described the equipment needed as “advanced.”
“If they have to enter a house or use different tactics in order to get someone to come out of a house, they need all the equipment and resources at their disposal,” he added.
Some needed equipment includes helmets, night vision goggles, certain types of firearms and ammunitions.
“We could be the team called out to help a neighboring parish,” McIver said. “We want to be highly trained and be a safety net where if something happens, we are not having to wait an hour for another group to get here. Our team can assemble within minutes, be on the scene and handle the situation.”
The idea behind a raffle is to avoid incurring charges the city and citizens would have to cover. Raffling firearms, is not a situation that concerns the police department.
“If a criminal wants a gun, they’re going to get it,” McIver pointed out. “They’re going to get their hands on weapons no matter how many laws are in place. I’m not worried about law-abiding citizens who receives proper firearms training.”
Raffle winners can choose their firearm and pick it up on Fridays, however, all will be subject to a federal background check. Every Wednesday, a Yeti Cooler is added to the prize. Firearms are provided by Jaxon Rowell and Hope Creek Munitions.