The Silver Bay City Council unanimously approved the purchase of seven handguns for the Silver Bay Police Department at the regular council meeting Monday, Nov. 18.

The council unanimously approved the request from Police Chief Scott Kochendorfer; Councilor Shane Hoff was absent.

Until now, SBPD officers have had to purchase their own handguns for duty, which the chief wanted to change for a few reasons.

"Because they chose their own handguns, we have different caliber weapons," Kochendorfer said. "They can choose between a 9 mm and 45 mm and the department pays for weapons training, so if they choose a higher caliber, we're paying more money and have to keep different ammunition in stock."

Kochendorfer proposed purchasing either a Glock model 17 or 19 semi-automatic pistol for each officer, depending on size preference. He'd prefer for all of the officers to have uniformity in the gun style, but would allow some freedom on the size.

"There’s no price difference; they’re both the same price of $433.50," the chief said.

By purchasing seven handguns, the department would have two spare guns available in case of weapons failure, maintenance failure or if their firearm was send to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension following an officer-involved shooting.

"If sent out to be fixed or to the BCA, the officer is then without a firearm for a week to possibly months," Kochendorfer said. "This way we have a replica of the firearm available to check out."

In addition to approving the handgun purchase, the council also approved the chief's update of police policies. Most policies were Peace Officer Standards and Training-mandated or updated to reflect the chief's preferences for uniformity. The policies were approved unanimously following little discussion.

"I have utmost faith in our chief to write good policies," Councilor Richard DeRosier said.