Officers train on high-powered rifles - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Officers train on high-powered rifles

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August 27, 2004

Thomas County - The only time most of us will ever see an M-16, is in a war movie, but these deputies are getting up close and personal with the rifles, and for good reasons too.

"We had an incident earlier this year where the deputies responded to a call of a kidnapping, once they got there the suspect fired up on the deputies with an AK-47, and they only had mm... correction, they only had forty caliber," says Lt. Tim Watkins.

But these aren't guns you just pick up and shoot. You have to learn how to break it down, clean and put it back together. Then, comes the fun part. But they can be deadly if an officer doesn't know how to properly defend himself.

"It's not a good feeling to go up on a scene with a pistol and the person you need to get has a high powered rifle. Your out of a gun," says Capt. John Richards.

But hopefully, with these weapons, the officers will not only feel confident, they will be ready. "It gives the officer a sense of security," Richards says.

GEMA provided the department with the rifles. They will have to train every three months to keep their qualifications up to be able to bring the rifles along on the road.

posted at 4:13 PM by karen.collier@walb.com