JENKS, Okla. - Jenks Police Department recently received a donation from the community for patrol rifles and ammunition upgrades and purchases.
The $3,000 donation may not seem like much, but for JPD police chief Cameron Arthur said those funds will stretch to offer Jenks the resources its officers need.
Police departments have not been immune to ammunition shortages and the rise in weapons' prices in recent months. Arthur said that some officers have purchased their own weapons, while others have been donated by the military.
"Ammunition and assault weapons in general have skyrocketed," he said. "In the past, $3,000 would get us several rifles or a great deal of ammunition. But we have seen prices go up 30, 40, 50 percent. In addition to the fact, not only is it a lot more expensive, but the time to get it could be six months to a year, or in some cases even longer."
Arthur said the department is currently waiting on an order placed in October. It is due to this demand that many police departments have begun to trade and barter among each other.
"Most police departments are having a very difficult time even getting the necessary ammunition for handguns, shotguns and especially rifles," Arthur said. "With the delay in ammunition, some departments are limiting the number of rounds they carry in their handgun because of the shortage of ammunition. We get to the point where it is difficult to have enough ammo to train and also equip the officers."
Along with donations, Arthur said Jenks is looking at DUI and alcohol-related funds to continue revamping their weapons and supplement the rise in ammunition costs.
"Right now, our budget being the only state in the country that is funded entirely off sales tax, we have to be very careful, because most of the funds we get are not discretionary. So these purchases are more discretionary, although they are necessary; we have to get creative."
The main intent is to keep officers and the citizens of Jenks safe, Arthur said.
"Statistics would show that about one out of every five officers that are killed are killed with an assault-type rifle. We are being out-armed and out-manned in regard to these type of weapons day in and day out. So it is critical that we have access to superior fire power."