DEWEY BEACH, Del.- The town of Dewey Beach has been involved with the military surplus program for more than a decade, allowing the police department to trade equipment to help cover its expenses. A date has been set to auction off unused and unwanted equipment. 

On Sept. 14, Emmert Auction Associates will auction off close to 3,000 pieces of equipment from the town's storage lot on Cedar Grove Road in Lewes.   

"There's lots of little things from tents to belts to boots and there's several large trucks and trailers and other pieces of large equipment that could be very valuable to someone," says Mayor T.J. Redefer. "We're closing a chapter in a book and we're glad to be putting this book away, so the idea of accumulating all of this equipment over many many years, those days are gone."
Redefer and Commissioner Paul Bauer agree that the goal with this auction is to be more transparent to the public. 
"This isn't how the town had previously had done these types of things," says Bauer. "They had done it internally and without meetings to the public."
Jeffrey Smith with the Dewey Citizens for Accountability says this auction date comes late. He speculates that the town's inventory list wasn't sufficient enough for other auctioneers. 
"It's been two years and now they've given 30 days notice for this really a fire sale and they've gone now to a last ditch effort with a local auction house that will agree to sell it without titles." 
Bauer explains the inventory process. "You have to go out and photograph everything and get titles to everything and it was an arduous process." 

"It was just taking forever and it felt like we weren't keeping our promise to get rid of this equipment," says Redefer. 

Mayor Redefer and Bauer say that if this auction goes well, they would like to see the town hold future auctions to sell some of its other assets and that wouldn't be limited to military surplus equipment.

"Old lifeguard chairs. I'd like to see that money get used for lifeguard needs and old police equipment that we don't need anymore, I'd like to see that get used for police." 

"From our beach patrol to our code enforcement to our police department is all part of the functions of our town, so no matter where the money goes it's going to go towards the betterment of public safety in our town," says Redefer.

The town is still part of the program and can get more equipment. If it chooses to do so, that will be orchestrated through town management to benefit town as a whole and not solely the police department. 

Bauer and Redefer say that after the sale, they would like to see the money earned from this equipment continue to benefit the police department and better the town as a whole. Of course the town will first have to take a vote.