The Brownstown Police Department is in need of ammunition, but the demand and cost have both increased.
During Monday night’s Brownstown Town Council meeting at the town hall, Police Chief Tom Hanner said what used to cost $300 per 1,000 rounds is now $700 on up.
He said he and Assistant Chief Joe Kelly, who is the department’s firearms instructor, are looking into different options.
Officers have to go through handgun qualification annually at a minimum, so that’s when ammunition will be particularly needed, Hanner said.
“If the Law Enforcement Training Board sends out a directive and the state says, ‘We’re going to suspend officers needing to qualify,’ I don’t think that’s going to happen. Officers still need trained,” Hanner said.
He said he doesn’t know how long the higher cost and reduced availability of the ammunition will last.
“Normally, it’s not an issue just buying ammo,” he said. “We try to buy it out of the continuing education fund, but obviously, when it’s almost three times as much, that’s going to go quick.”
Hanner said he looks for this to be an issue for a while unless something is put in place to give law enforcement better access to ammunition.
“Our suppliers are telling us ‘We’ve got no idea. You could put in an order now and you may get it next year,’” he said.
If he is able to find a deal on ammunition, Hanner said it will be important to move quickly on it.
“I think if we find some, we need to get it,” he said. “You know prices probably aren’t going to go back down, let’s be realistic. If prices go up, you’re not going to see them come down much, I don’t think. It’s not typically what happens.”
Councilman Tim Robinson, who serves as a liaison to the police department, asked Hanner if a specific type of ammunition is needed, and Hanner said it has to be for service weapons for law enforcement and the same type used during handgun qualification.
Hanner said if he gets an opportunity to obtain ammunition, he may not be able to wait until the next council meeting to ask for approval, so the council agreed it would be OK to have him do that through Robinson.
“It’s just crazy to believe we’re in that situation,” Hanner said. “I didn’t expect it.”