The Beaumont City Council approved Tuesday the purchase of more than a dozen new assault weapons for use by the city's police department.
The Colt AR-15 weapons system purchase was approved in the amount of $14,754.76, before tax.
The department will get 16 new rifles to add to the 39 it already has, allowing each individual sworn officer to be assigned one, according to a staff report by Chief Frank Coe.
"In discussion with other agencies, we have determined that assigning an AR-15 weapons system to each officer will provide improved proficiency in the officer's use of the rifle in that they will now be required to quilify with their assigned weapon as opposed to a pool-weapon," Coe said in his report.
Until now, officers have shared so-called "pool" weapons-- ones that are assigned to each vehicle.
Coe said that a benefit of each officer having their own rifle is they'll now be able to personally "sight" each, "...improving the accuracy of the shooter at greater distances."
With the purchases, there will be an extra four rifles systems that can be used as back-up weapons as needed, Coe said.
Funds for the weapons will come from the police department's budget.