The San Diego Police Department's SWAT unit will be outfitted with dozens of new guns thanks to thousands of dollars in donations from local businesses.
Dozens of officers gathered Tuesday to swap out their older model guns for 84 new guns considered to be more reliable with brighter lights and quieter suppressors.
"The guns that we're using now are primarily Vietnam era weapons that were converted from M-16s to AR-16s,” said Lt. Mark Hanten, SWAT Commanding Officer.
“They're 20-inch barrel long guns, and they're pretty worn out."
Hanten’s team received 84 new guns that cost approximately $175,000 – money provided by local businesses through the annual Citizens for SWAT golf tournament. Seventy local businesses contributed to the purchase of new equipment.
“When all that stands between you and danger is a San Diego police officer you want to ensure that that officer has the tools at their disposal to protect our community,” said City Councilmember Kevin Faulconer.
“This helps fill the gap from what the city can provide and it's so great to see how the community supports this police department and how they support the SWAT team," Faulconer said.
Lt. Hanten says there’s a wide gap between what taxpayers can afford and what his team actually needs.
The next thing on their wish list is new body armor for the entire team.