The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

February 28, 2013

Sunbury police chief under fire over shotguns

SUNBURY — SUNBURY -  Thanks to the Sunbury Police Department, the Shamokin Dam Police Department has two shotguns.

Or has it?

Two Benelli 12-gauge shotguns, one with a 14-inch barrel and one with an 18-inch barrel, were sold to the Shamokin Dam police for $300 in August.

Shamokin Dam Borough Council approved the purchase in August, according to minutes from the meeting. However, Sunbury’s City Council never voted on the transaction.

Sunbury Mayor David Persing said the city wouldn’t have sold the shotguns because the department still has 13 Glock .45-caliber handguns that need to be sold.

“We would have done this in a package deal,” Persing said. “The problem is they were sold before we had the chance to act.”

Persing said he was informed after the fact that Police Chief Steve Mazzeo had sold the shotguns.

“He made a mistake because he purchased new guns before he sold the old ones,” Persing said. “They are old guns, but we should have sold everything at once, and council should have known about it.”

Persing said the shotguns were from the SWAT team Sunbury used to have.

Mazzeo said the shotguns were discussed in October and November, and Persing knew police were looking to sell the old shotguns.

“No one told me they needed to vote on it,” Mazzeo said. “As far as I knew I complied with all laws, and the guns are already transferred.”

Mazzeo said one of the shotguns is a Class Three weapon and can’t be sold unless it goes to another police department as designated by the National Firearms Act of 1934.

“It’s a short-barrelled shotgun, and we weren’t using it,” he said. “This was discussed several times during budget sessions, and it was $300 that is supposed to be spent to purchase Glock .45 handguns that we are now carrying. If there is a law about voting on selling them I am not aware of it, and we have disposed of weapons before.”

Shamokin Dam issued the city a check for $300 on Aug. 31, and city Treasurer Beth Kremer said she received the money and put it in a line item for guns on the 2013 budget.

“I mentioned the sale of these guns and other funding venues during the open council budget meetings, and if anyone had an objection they didn’t raise it then,” Mazzeo said. “As far as I knew I was in compliance, and if there was an error, it was simply because I didn’t know. I would have made sure they would complied with it.”

Mazzeo said even though the department is short on shotguns, the reason the two guns in question were sold was because they didn’t fit in the police cars.

“I shopped them around and that was a good price,” Mazzeo said. “Also the fact we were able to sell them to a neighboring department that routinely backs us up was a plus.”

Mazzeo acknowledged the city is short on shotguns because at least two are broken and finding parts is a problem and at least two cars are without shotguns.

Shotguns are fired every year during qualifications and training, and Mazzeo said an officer has not used a shotgun in an incident in more than 25 years in the city.

“They should be returned and the sale should be null and void,” Councilman Joe Bartello said. “We never voted on this. I don’t want to take anything away from the Shamokin Dam police, but what’s right is right.”

Councilmen Jim Eister and Kevin Troup said they had no idea the guns were being sold.

“I have no knowledge of the guns being sold, and if they were we didn’t vote on it,” Eister said. “I found out about the guns after they were sold. It came up in a conversation, and I was confused on what they were talking about.”

Troup echoed Eister.

“I didn’t know until the other night they were sold,” Troup said. “I would think these guns needed to be voted on and I know we had in the budget for handguns to be sold, but not shotguns. It should have been voted on and permission should have been given by council.”

1
Text Only
News
  • Baby, 3 others hurt in Route 11 crash near Danville

    DANVILLE — Two women, an infant and the baby’s 2-year-old girl sister were taken to Geisinger Medical Center following a three-vehicle chain-reaction accident at 3:14 p.m. Friday on Route 11 near Steve Shannon Tire and Auto Center in Mahoning Township.

    July 26, 2014

  • eyebrows.jpg Coming Sunday: Browsing for brows

    As makeup sales soar, four tips to make your eyebrows raise others'. Coming Sunday

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • William Cameron to spend $12,000 to find new chief

    LEWISBURG — The William Cameron Engine Company will pay a State College consulting firm more than $12,000 to help the Lewisburg fire house find its first paid chief after its first national search to fill the job ended without a new leader.

    July 26, 2014

  • Ann Targonski DA clears officer in Sunbury shooting

    SUNBURY — Three shots from a Taser could not stop 390-pound Erick Trometter from attacking Sunbury’s then-acting Police Chief Brad Hare with a large filet knife, so the veteran officer drew his gun and shot the 22-year-old city man in the leg, according to a report issued Friday.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • stauffer25br.jpg Area cyclist pedals 4,233 miles in 21 days for race

    Growing up in a Mennonite family, Jesse Stauffer often traveled the roads in Snyder County on a bicycle.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Amazon worker pilots drone around Space Needle

    Police say an out-of-town Amazon employee was the operator behind a drone that buzzed the Seattle Space Needle this week.

    July 25, 2014

  • Carjacked vehicle strikes crowd, killing 2 kids

    Two men forced a woman into the backseat of her car at gunpoint and drove it into a group of people on a corner in Philadelphia on Friday, killing two children and critically injuring three other people, police said.

    July 25, 2014

  • Man calls police chief "brain dead"

    A Liberty Township man was cited for placing a sign calling Mahoning Township’s police chief “brain dead and hell bound.”

    July 25, 2014

  • New warden returning to Lewisburg penitentiary

    David J. Ebbert has been tapped to replace Jeff Thomas as warden at United States Penitentiary in Lewisburg.

    July 25, 2014

  • Fast food workers to escalate wage demands

    Fast food workers say they’re prepared to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation, starting with a national convention in suburban Chicago where more than 1,000 workers are expected to discuss the future of the effort that has spread to dozens of cities in less than two years.

    July 25, 2014

The Daily Marquee
Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.