New state-of-the-art weapons purchased for SWAT, narcotics units in Guadalupe County

$84K of seized drug money used to grow arsenal

By Deven Clarke - Crime and Justice Reporter, Dale L. Keller - Photojournalist

GUADALUPE COUNTY, Texas - If you ever wonder what happens to seized drug money, the Guadalupe County Sheriff's Office has a good example. Last month, it spent more than $80,000 of asset forfeiture funds on 20 new TSR-15 short-barreled rifles.

The new lighter and quieter guns are assigned as take-home weapons for officers with the SWAT team and narcotics unit, so that if they need to respond to an emergency, they show up armed and ready.

“All our officers here in Guadalupe County have to be trained with the 40-hour module, so that helps them understand and work with the civilians a lot closer,” said Guadalupe County Sheriff Arnold Zwicke.

Not all the weapons in the Guadalupe County Sheriff's Office's arsenal are meant to be lethal. Some are designed to disable a suspect without deadly force.

Some officers are equipped with a 40 mm launcher that shoots rubber bullets, a shotgun that shoots beanbags and a pepper-spray dispenser with an orange decal that resembles a handgun.

“It is going to hit its intended target and put a liquid on them to where it condenses the amount of damage done to everybody around,” Zwicke said.

The weapons are part of a growing arsenal featuring new state-of-the-art equipment that is designed to mitigate risk to law enforcement officials and the innocent public.

“Once you pull that trigger, you can't take that bullet back. No officer wants to hurt or kill anyone, but a lot of times, we're left with that there's no choice,” Zwicke said.

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