However, while this old boy owns the gun, and everybody knows it, on paper, the POLICE DEPARTMENT owns it, and he just stores it for them. The old boy is retired, meaning he doesn't put in scheduled hrs on patrol or at the station, but he is listed as an active deputy, and will be until they close the lid on his casket, I think.
I remember something similar with Blackwater back in 2007. Blackwater "donated" money to the local Sherriff's Department to buy NFA weapons, which were then stored at Blackwater's facility. They were always available for the police to use if needed, but BW personnel used them as well. The BATFE didn't like that arrangement and seized the weapons, IIRC.