SAN DIEGO — An organization created to help the San Diego Police Department’s SWAT team meet its expensive equipment needs presented the squad Tuesday with scores of new high-powered rifles and accessories for the firearms.
Citizens for SWAT turned over the 84 Sig Sauer 516 carbines and associated equipment — including sights, noise suppressors and barrel-mounted lights — to the special-weapons and tactics personnel during a morning media event at the SDPD’s gun range on Federal Boulevard.
The new semiautomatic firearms replace models ranging in age from 17 to about 40 years old, Lt. Mark Hanten, commander of the SWAT team, told reporters.
Hanten described the new gear as “a big step up for us.”
The roughly $175,000 cost of the equipment came from private donations, police said. Key corporate sponsors included Mor Furniture for less, Echo Pacific and Serta, according to Citizens for SWAT.
City Councilman Kevin Faulconer told the gathering that the upgraded equipment promised to help “San Diego’s brave police officers … keep our families safe and preserve our quality of life.”
Citizens for SWAT formed in 2005 to ensure that SDPD special-weapons and tactics personnel are equipped with the best possible gear. The organization has donated vehicles, weapons, personal protection gear or new technology each year, according to police.