The NYPD is spending more than $700,000 to purchase automatic rifles for officers in the Emergency Services Unit, according to a report by the Daily News.
NYPD spokesman Deputy Chief Edward Mullen said that the buy means that cops in the elite unit will no longer have to share weapons, and each member assigned will have their own rifle.
450 Colt M4 Commando firearms are being bought for $729,000 from Phoenix Distributors, based in Feasterville, Pennsylvania.
The investment is proof of the increase focus of the NYPD on terrorism, say Mullen, in the aftermath of the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California.
He said, “This goes hand in hand with our active shooter concerns. It also makes sense because of what is going on around the world.”
The Daily News reports: “The new M4 Commandos can be adjusted for an officer’s height, as well as where he’ll be stationed at the scene.
ESU cops wear many hats, including responding to jumpers and hostage situations.
But Mullen said that in situations that require use of their weapons critical seconds are saved if cops have their own rifles.
‘If you have to get everybody out there right away there should be enough guns for all the ESU members,’ he said. ‘The guns will be set to a cop’s preference.’
The rifle’s stock, which is the portion that is held against the shoulder, can be adjusted, as can the site, which is the device used to aim the gun, and the shoulder strap used to carry the rifle.
Such adjustments are based on an officer’s height as well as where an officer will be assigned at a scene, said Raymond Schneider, a former New Jersey cop who owns Phoenix.
‘For a weapon to operate effectively, it has to be one operator, one weapon,’ he said.
The automatic rifles currently used by ESU will be used for training purposes.
ESU started using automatics after the Sept. 11 terror attack, Mullen said.
That’s when then-Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly created the first counterterrorism bureau for any police department in America.”
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