By David Madden

By David Madden

UPPER DARBY, Pa. (CBS) — Almost 150 deadly weapons seized by Upper Darby over the last couple years have been melted down not for scrap metal, but electric power.

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Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood coordinated the transport of 145 weapons from his station to the trash-to-steam plant in Chester. It’s a little different approach, Chitwood concedes. But the bottom line message to the community remains the same.

“The good things is these guns will never be sold,” he says. “They’ll never be on the market. They’ll never be able to be used in any type of commission of any crime.”


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The weapons included everything from handguns and rifles to knives and swords, but it was about more than just clearing his evidence room.

“The trash to steam plant makes electricity,” Chitwood says. “So those guns now are part of the electrical system in Pennsylvania.”

Those weapons were used in various crimes, their cases having completed their run in the court system.

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Chitwood figures he does one of these burns every couple of years to send a message to the law-abiding citizens of Upper Darby and elsewhere: that these guns are gone, and the streets are a little safer because of it.