While many major police department patrolmen have rifles, if needed, Southington isn’t among them.
However, that’s about to change for the Southington Police Department. Eyewitness News talked to officers as they were practicing with the new firearms on Thursday.
“It’s more accurate from longer distances as opposed to a handgun,” Southington Police Detective Jim Armack said.
Southington police have been looking for rifles for patrolmen for four years.
After getting a $27,000 donation from two local men and a few rifles from gun shops, they were able to get 17 Stag Arms Model 2T rifles and the training that goes with them.
“Rather than need it and not have it, they have it to use in that circumstance,” Southington Police Capt. William Palmieri said.
Armack is helping train his officers on the stags at the State Police Academy in Meriden. Distance and accuracy are huge advantages.
“That’s especially applicable when you have an active shooter scenario where you're going to have very long hallways in schools in those scenarios every second counts,” Armack said.
The biggest disadvantage is public perception, especially when people see police with long guns in their neighborhoods. Police are quick to say they’re not for every call.
“When they are going to be confronting someone, who has a rifle, we don't want to be outmatched with our fire power,” Armack said.
The training wrapped up on Thursday and the rifles will officially be in commission on Monday in Meriden.
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