The Somerset Police Department is taking aim at helping other local law enforcement agencies be better prepared.
In a program that’s been in the works for several weeks, the Somerset Police Department has provided the police departments in Ferguson and Science Hill with .223 caliber patrol rifles and related equipment, as well as training by two Somerset PD Firearms Instructors.
Chief Doug Nelson announced the partnership late last week when the three rifles were handed over at SPD’s Thunder Mountain Firearms Range.
“It’s important for our police department to help other police departments who haven’t been able to make the transition to some form of patrol rifle,” said Nelson. “By supplying and training officers from these departments with the same weapons our own officers carry, we increase the versatility and impact our response has on a critical incident.”
The .223 patrol rifle has gained popularity in the past decade as the primary long gun for patrol officers after mass-shooting incidents at schools and private businesses showed the limitations of the traditional police shotgun.
Shotguns have limited range and their accuracy suffers as the range increases. Patrol rifles generally maintain their accuracy as the distance increases and can be effective at ranges in excess of 100 yards.
“We join boundaries with Ferguson and Science Hill, which puts them in position to be some of our closest backup if an active shooter situation arose,” said Nelson.