Montgomery left the prosecution in September 2019 to get a seat on the Arizona Supreme Court.
The Republic said Montgomery would not answer specific questions about gun and ammunition purchases, the creation of an arsenal, what prompted the rifle program, or whether it was modeled on another agency.
Rick Romley, who served as the district attorney from 1989 to 2004 and temporarily as the bureau’s interim director in 2010, said he was stunned by gun training and gun purchases.
“Why do you need all these guns? And an armory? “Said Romley.” I don’t really get it. I don’t understand the need. “
Romley said he couldn’t imagine assigning semi-automatic weapons to every investigator and rejected the idea that investigators could act as first responders.
“It’s not our main job,” he said. “To be a first responder, you have to have tactical training that we didn’t have.”
Romley said he couldn’t remember a case where a district attorney clerk was forced to fire a gun on duty.
Andrew Thomas, who took over the prosecution in 2004, also made no attempt to improve the weapons program.
Records show he attempted to replace 10-year-old handguns in 2009 by swapping 45 used Glocks for 51 new ones.