Waveland, Mississippi was “ground zero” of Hurricane Katrina’s 2005 landfall when 26 feet of seawater slammed into the coastal community, killing an estimated 50 residents. The town’s small police force, at first forced from their building by rising water and later having to shoot their way out of the city’s library’s windows when it filled up like a fishbowl, lost all of their vehicles and equipment.
Following the storm, firearms industry powerhouse Glock, hearing that the officers– who carried their own guns, not weapons provided from the city– had theirs effectively destroyed, donated 29 new Glock Model 22 .40 caliber handguns to the force.
Now ten years later the state auditor’s office wants the guns returned to the city by the individual officers or they will be listed as stolen.
“When Katrina hit, they hung onto a bush for eight hours in front of the police station just to save their own lives. In the process, they lost all of their weapons that they had,” explained Waveland Mayor Mike Smith.
State officials contend the weapons should have become city property when they were donated, even though they replaced personal firearms, and now wants them all accounted for or the officers who signed for them have to pay the city $400 for each gun.