JPD Officers Spend for Safety

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- When the Jonesboro Police Department hits the street, they have to be prepared for anything.  It takes training and the proper equipment to keep things under control but sometimes officers have to dig deep to take it to the next level.

"The public expects us to be able to handle a situation and this is just one tool we can use in the event of an emergency," said Jonesboro Police Lt. Mark Mosier.

The AR-15 .223 caliber semi automatic patrol rifle is used primarily in known weapon calls, allowing officers to keep a safe distance from dangerous situations.

"Because the round is so much more effective it can allow us to not have to fire as many rounds and certainly it's more accurate over a longer distance," said Lt. Mosier.

The AR-15 does allow Jonesboro Police to bring it to the next level but it does come at a price. Each fully loaded rifle runs about $2, officers have to shell out if they want to carry.

"I would rather be more prepared and spend a little money then be under prepared in this job any day," said Jonesboro Police Officer John Hughes.

Officers pay for the rifles themselves, but Patrolman Hughes agrees, its money worth spending.

"Due to all the recent shootings we've had in the past months, churches, malls, campuses of our colleges these rifles will help us to be better prepared to protect the citizens I hope, a lot better than just our side arms," said Hughes.

"It can level the playing field so to speak when you have an adversary with a rifle or a shotgun. Officers are just not able to adequately respond to the situation or the threat when they are only carrying a pistol or perhaps a buckshot loaded shotgun," said Lt. Mosier.

The officers must be approved by the department to carry the AR-15 rifles and complete the 20 hour training course.