By jeanne starmack
Mayor Bill VanSuch has asked the Campbell Police Department to investigate how a handgun discharged in the police chief’s office.
The incident happened April 17 as Chief Gus Sarigianopoulos was checking the gun to see if it was loaded.
Van Such said he intended to ask a detective-sergeant to investigate, and he is asking the chief to cooperate.
In a letter to VanSuch dated Thursday, Sarigianopoulos said he was attempting to clear the gun, which was pointed down toward the floor, when it discharged.
The police department had recently acquired the Vietnam-era handgun from state-government surplus.
The gun, one of three the department acquired about six weeks ago, is a single-action Colt 1911 .45-caliber semiautomatic, said Officer Dave Smith, a firearms instructor for the department.
Smith said that though it is an older gun, it is still a good model that could be used an officer’s service gun.
He also said the department can benefit from training with the single- action guns, because its officers are more familiar with the double-action Glocks they use now.
“It benefits the department because if they come across one on the streets, they know how to clear it,” he said.
The department was also asked in October to account for an accidental discharge while the chief and other officers were on a call.
In a letter to city administrator Jack Dill, Sarigianopoulos said he was checking the safety on a shotgun Oct. 7 at a shots-fired call on Montgomery Avenue when it discharged at the ground. Officer Dave Taybus, a department firearms instructor, checked the gun immediately and determined the safety was sticking.
, the letter said.