Ammunition shortage means less practice for Phoenix officers - Fox 2 News Headlines

Ammunition shortage means less practice for Phoenix officers

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PHOENIX -

The nationwide ammunition shortage is now affecting officers at Phoenix PD. The department has been forced to cut back on some training at the shooting range.

The backlog is so substantial, a spokesperson tells us the Phoenix Police Department is still waiting to receive ammo it ordered six months ago. They're also dealing with a 20 percent increase in cost.

The email went out Monday. Effective immediately the department will be suspending the 100-rounds-per-month program for department personnel.

"The 100 rounds were discretionary. Officers could show up once a month, grab a hundred rounds on their own without an instructor present, shoot the rounds," said Phoenix Police Sgt. Trent Crump.

Sgt. Trent Crump says the ammunition in question is used in optional training, not on the job.

Ken Crane, the vice president of PLEA, the Phoenix Law Enforcement Agency, understands the department's position but worries about proficiency and liability issues.

"The concern is that these crucial skills, that they start to lapse. It could translate into things that we see out on the street... your proficiency goes down, you fire more rounds at what you're aiming at. That's not a good thing from a risk management point of view," said Crane.

The email states the cut is due to budgetary issues, the increasing cost of ammunition and the difficulty in getting ammunition in a timely basis. But according to Sgt. Crump, it's also a move that will help Phoenix Police maintain mandatory training and qualification.

"Part of our reason for managing our discretionary rounds is so that we can make sure we keep the mandatory training and the needed training in place for everybody."

The department hopes the cut is temporary, but at this point there's really no way to tell when and if the 100-rounds-per-month program will be brought back.

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