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Marion Police Receive Order Of AR-15 Assault Rifles

MARION, Iowa (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- Marion police officers are starting to work with their new semi-automatic weapons.

"Probably a dozen have been trained so far, so they can take theirs out now," Chief Harry Daugherty said.

The department ordered the AR-15s back in January -- 32 of them -- after the city council approved the purchase. It adds up to a little more than $60,000 that the city is paying.

Chief Daugherty pushed for the assault rifles after a string of active shooter situations.

He said, with just a shotgun and pistol, his officers would not be prepared if it happened here.

"God forbid that we would have something at one of the schools or one of the businesses where someone went in and went a little crazy on us. They want to have that kind of power with them," Chief Daugherty said.

Now that the weapons are in, officers will train on them.

Some who have experience with the rifles have already spent a day getting reacquainted. Those who have never fired one will spend three days learning about when and how to use it.

Cedar Rapids police have had semi-automatic rifles for 10 years and started the transition to the AR-15 five years ago. About 80 percent of that force is certified and carries one.

Within a few weeks, the 32 Marion officers will be ready as well.

"Hopefully, that never happens and no one ever has to pull the weapons out of the squad cars ever," Chief Daugherty said.

Daugherty adds that a strong majority of departments in towns similar to the size of Marion already have these AR-15s, and that for his team, it was only a matter of time.
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