As the criminal element the Land of Enchantment is consistently found to be packing higher firepower, some police in New Mexico want to train with rifles in hopes of keeping pace.
“I realize that it’s not necessarily just having every officer equipped with it,” said Stephanie Lopez.
Lopez still wants to see everyone from cadets to officers currently on the streets be trained to use rifles and then decide whether they want to carry them.
But she says she also just found out that half of APD has already gone through the training, deciding not to carry a rifle.
Interim Police Chief Allen Banks says his department is one of the best equipped departments in the nation.
“What [Lopez] didn’t realize until our conversation this weekend is that our officers have the eligibility to qualify and be certified to carry rifles while they’re on patrol,” said Banks. “You have to have years of experience on the department per SOP and you have to qualify certain percentage at the range to be able to carry a rifle.”