One of the more interesting and ultimately dangerous aspects of the police world is the way budgets work. Yep, budgets—not just bad guys. Crime and violence in police work are cyclical. Some trends persist throughout time—one of those is the fact that as the economy takes a turn for the worst and unemployment rises, crime often does as well. And just about any cop who has worked the streets for any length of time will tell you it seems to ring true.
As crime is getting worse in these tough times, it also seems to be getting more violent and more dangerous. Here in Utah we recently saw three police officers shot in less than 24 hours, which is unheard of in this part of the country. Meanwhile my department had three shootings in three days. At the same time departments are cutting back on training, ammunition, and anything that even looks like a luxury. Things like new guns are the first to go. In many cases departments are not providing raises of any kind, nor replacing officers that leave, and in some cases letting officers go. In the toughest of times when police officers have the greatest need of tools to do their job, the money for those
tools is least likely to be there. Since the need does not disappear simply because the budget does — there is still a need to find a way to provide the necessary tools. One of those tools in my book at least is a long gun or shotgun.
Although a long gun is more than likely the preferred weapon these days they are growing more and more expensive with each passing “improvement.” The gun market is not driven by law enforcement—it never really was, as police departments and police officers don’t have the money to keep pace with the sector’s demands. Although the days of robbing the evidence room for duty guns are probably gone, getting state-of-the-art weaponry is not real high on most administrators “to do” list. Officers and departments really need to look hard to find ways to get what they need, as guns are staying in inventory and in the field longer. Instead of new and improved, it may just be that old and redone is the mantra of the day. A recent trip to a custom gun shop made me aware of a deal like this and in a place you would never expect.