HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Hattiesburg police officers will soon be adding a little more firepower for when they on patrol the streets of the Hub City.
The department just purchased 60 AR-15 rifles, which will serve as backup weapons for officers on patrol.
"I never want my men to be the underdog, in nothing," said Hattiesburg Police Chief Anthony Parker. "With the change in the climate today, with attacks on police, and different things, I want to make sure the men are not overpowered by individuals."
The rifles were recently purchased by HPD for just under $38,000.
"The whole goal here, and I stated before is to make sure the tools are here, for the men to use and when they need it," Parker said.
Parker said during his time in law enforcement, one specific event stands out to him, which happened in Los Angeles.
"I remember the Los Angeles incident, it stuck in my mind, when the man was in the bullet proof vest and went into that bank and LAPD was overpowered by weaponry, and I never want that to happen," Parker said.
Parker referenced the incident at Roper's a few weeks back, and said it could have been really bad, and our officers need to be prepared for anything.
The rifles will be rolled out after a period of training for the whole department, according to Chief Parker.
"As always and anything that we implement, within our department, our officers are well trained in it, they will go through a three day, 8-hour course each day," Parker said. "They will be taught techniques, the range of the weapon, when to use the weapon, tactics, and all aspects of using this high-powered type of weapon."
That training is set to start the week of Oct. 23rd.