The Nueces County Sheriff's Department is looking to enter into an agreement with the Corpus Christi Police Department that would involve a weapons exchange for emergency services.
Nueces County Commissioners heard from Sheriff Jim Kaelin at a March 19 meeting about the possibility of letting the CCPD Special Weapons And Tactics team use a sniper rifle that has been inactive since the Sheriff's Department has no SWAT team of its own.
In return, CCPD's SWAT team will provide assistance in situations where they are needed, such as hostage stand-offs, that happen to be outside of the city limits.
"We're not donating the rifle," said County Attorney Laura Garza Jimenez. "We're letting them use it in exchange for services when they are needed."
The weapon in question was purchased about 10 years ago with seized funds, Kaelin said, and is valued at $7,000 to $8,000. It has seen limited use in that time span, he added.
"The rifle has laid (in the armory) for years and is not assigned to anybody," the sheriff said. "I think it'll be a good move to allow them to use it."
Kaelin said the SWAT team has always assisted the Sheriff's Department when the situation called for it, such as an incident last year that involved the theft of a deputy's vehicle and subsequent manhunt through a wooded area. The agreement just makes the partnership official, he added.
The agreement runs for an unspecified length and can be terminated by either the city or county.
Upon termination, the rifle must be returned to the sheriff's department in "good condition."
It also requires the county to reimburse the city for the expenses "of each law enforcement officer providing services requested" by the county.
According to Texas Local Government Code 362.003 (c), "the officer is…entitled to payment for any reasonable expenses incurred for travel, food, or lodging while on duty outside the limits of the territory of the officer's regular employment."
The agreement must still be approved by the city of Corpus Christi, Kaelin said.