The San Benito Police Department is stepping things up to keep up with criminals.
They recently obtained 9 high caliber assault rifles - to arm officers out on the street.
These rifles are 223 in caliber. Police said they are redility available to the public, which includes criminals. That's why they are stocking up and putting one in each of their 20 squad cars.
It was a winning trade off for San Benito police officers. They took some of their old model shot guns and handguns, and made a trade with gun dealer for 9 of these high powered rifles.
The goal is to eventually have one assault rifle for the entire 20 patrol car fleet.
Investigator Rogelio Banda said it's one way to keep up with criminals. "It's not only because of the of the border violence all we have to do is look back to the Hollywood Bank robbery out in l.A, said Banda. The officers were outgunned by the suspects they were carrying high powered rifles and the officers were only shooting pistols"
Officers will have to go through at least 8 hours of training and must pass tests at the shooting range before they can used the rifles.Banda says these rifles are extremely powerful and can be dangerous if it falls in the wrong hands...
"These particular bullets from an assault rifle are more powerful, travel faster, and you can hit targets up to 3 hundred yards, you know they are very accurate.
The bullets used with the rifles are also new to the department. They are powerful and get the job done, but investigator Banda said they are also likely to decrease the chance of innocent bystanders getting injured.
"Sometimes the ball amo or the full metal jackets those bullets tend to hit the target and continue traveling this particular bullet once it hits it's target tends to expand and slow down hopefully that will reduce collateral damage"
Since the police department made a trade with a gun dealer, these rifles did not cost the city any money.
Some officers who've already passed their required training are currently carrying them while on patrol.