STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Decatur police wants to arm more officers with AR-15s

Police officials said there's already enough money in the budget to purchase the extra fire arms. They just need the council's approval

Posted: Feb 27, 2018 5:20 PM
Updated: Feb 27, 2018 6:53 PM

The Decatur police department wants to arm more of their officers with AR-15 rifles. This is the same semi-automatic weapon that's been used in several deadly mass shootings. If a mass shooting were to happen in Decatur, police officers want to be better prepared.

On Monday, Decatur police captain Chris Mathews asked the city council to approve the purchase of 20 AR 15's. This request comes just two weeks after the mass shooter used an AR 15 to kill 17 people in Parkland, Fl.

"And to have those types of guns to combat that, I think that's very important," said Misty Sappington who lives in Decatur.

Misty Sappington doesn't see an issue with police officers having extra fire arms, especially if a mass shooting were to ever occur.

"The more resources we can provide for them, the more protection it is for the citizens in this city. I think our police always do a great job, but they need more resources to help the with those type actions," Sappington said.

"We want to put a rifle in the hands of every front line officer. So, we've made a three year plan to purchase it so that every officer would have a rifle," said Captain Chris Mathews.

Captain Mathews said there's already money in the budget to purchase 20 AR 15's, the ammunition and accessories. Each rifle cost $1,203 each. They want to purchase 60 of them in the next three years. However, Matthews said not every front line officer will be given an AR 15. Some decided to purchase their own.

"What we've noticed nation wide is that when events happen, typically we'll have a rifle, shotgun or some type of long gun. We want to be proactive by giving our officers those rifles in the event of if something happens," Mathews said.

Right now, all first responding police officers have a stun gun and hand gun. Mathews said the hand gun is good for close distances. However, most mass shootings happen in larger areas.

"And a rifle is more accurate at a distance. We want to have all types of tools, but a rifle is a better tool at a distance," Mathews said.

Sappington said as a mother with children in school, the AR 15's are a good idea because officers wouldn't have to wait as long for a SWAT team to arrive.

"The safety is a main concern in our schools and our kids in the school. We need to be able to call those police officers who can respond at the same time as--the guns and ammunition that the other people are using," Mathews said.

Decatur city council will vote on the purchase at Monday's council meeting.

Huntsville/Redstone
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 47°
Muscle Shoals
Partly Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 53°
Huntsville/Madison
Mostly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 52°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 47°
Fort Payne
Mostly Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 41°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 490220

Reported Deaths: 9744
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson704661342
Mobile35810721
Madison32203443
Tuscaloosa23961409
Montgomery22417489
Shelby21773211
Baldwin19635272
Lee14883147
Morgan13571248
Etowah13118312
Calhoun13090283
Marshall11212203
Houston10036257
Limestone9321133
Elmore9313179
Cullman8864177
St. Clair8771220
Lauderdale8570210
DeKalb8419173
Talladega7450162
Walker6492249
Jackson6466102
Autauga617285
Blount6072125
Colbert5978118
Coffee5229100
Dale4614106
Russell401431
Franklin397675
Covington3948105
Chilton383196
Escambia376670
Tallapoosa3559139
Clarke342749
Dallas3396140
Chambers3393103
Pike292771
Lawrence281284
Marion280793
Winston245665
Bibb243759
Marengo238554
Geneva238468
Pickens223554
Barbour209550
Hale208464
Fayette199356
Butler195165
Henry182341
Cherokee176338
Monroe165638
Randolph162740
Washington156233
Crenshaw143353
Clay143254
Macon140543
Cleburne136539
Lamar131632
Lowndes130148
Wilcox120825
Bullock116534
Conecuh106523
Perry105327
Sumter98231
Coosa86823
Greene86732
Choctaw54723
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 768946

Reported Deaths: 11266
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby866001472
Davidson80790841
Knox45241571
Hamilton39979454
Rutherford37906375
Williamson25011202
Sumner21166312
Montgomery17207207
Out of TN1667091
Wilson16194209
Unassigned15662125
Sullivan14169273
Blount13929178
Bradley12734138
Washington12671231
Maury12141159
Sevier11889161
Putnam10537168
Madison10049226
Robertson8886118
Hamblen7958161
Anderson7893155
Greene7258144
Tipton6896101
Coffee6264114
Gibson6168140
Dickson6148103
Cumberland6072117
Carter5926152
McMinn586289
Roane581795
Bedford5756117
Loudon563164
Jefferson5580116
Lawrence554681
Warren529875
Monroe526389
Dyer5222101
Hawkins518793
Franklin470684
Fayette463771
Obion435794
Rhea411773
Lincoln410561
Cocke396192
Marshall388354
Cheatham385743
Campbell378158
Weakley377559
Giles371095
Henderson361173
Carroll346881
Hardeman337663
Macon335073
White333965
Hardin329762
Lauderdale309342
Henry298975
Marion290244
Wayne286430
Scott285042
Overton283757
Claiborne273666
McNairy265051
Haywood264359
Hickman262840
DeKalb261548
Smith253336
Grainger240746
Trousdale237922
Morgan228537
Fentress228344
Johnson215038
Chester200647
Bledsoe198210
Crockett196946
Unicoi179347
Cannon173628
Polk173621
Union168930
Lake167326
Grundy166330
Sequatchie153927
Decatur153137
Humphreys151321
Benton149939
Lewis145724
Meigs125421
Jackson124834
Stewart123124
Clay106230
Perry102527
Houston102330
Moore93616
Van Buren79120
Pickett74723
Hancock49312

Community Events