PHOENIX — Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said the recent ambush murders of three Baton Rouge, Louisiana officers and five Dallas officers with semi-automatic long rifles signaled a new day and age for law enforcement nationwide.
The sheriff is asking his county supervisors for $250,000 in emergency funding for ballistic vests that can stop long-range rifle fire. And he wants his deputies better trained to deal with ambushes.
“Suspects are now going out to intentionally target and kill police officers,” Babeu said Friday.
“The current ballistic vests are not designed to stop a long-gun rifle shot. They’re designed to stop small-arms fire. We need to up-armor our personal gear and we’re looking to put an additional layer of protection on these vests,” he said.
“That training of reacting to and surviving an ambush is critical.”
Babeu went on to say, “We are outgunned and we need the weaponry to meet the threat. We have to have the training and firepower to reach because the accuracy of a handgun can’t extend as far as a semi-automatic rifle that can shoot a couple of hundred yards with accuracy.”