Ammunition Shortage | VideoRetha Colclasure | 1/4/2013
This room holds more than 40,000 rounds of ammunition for the Bismarck Police Department and thousands more for the SWAT team. It`s more than enough for the upcoming training and qualifications the department has planned.
"We take projected shortages into account when we order and plan for next year," said Sgt. Steve Scheuer.
That`s a good thing, because those wait times have shot up. Doubling from just four months three years ago for handgun rounds, to anywhere from eight to ten months for shotgun slugs. The longest wait is for rifle rounds. It can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months for a box of them to show up once they`re ordered.
Ammunition shortages aren`t anything new. The department has been dealing with them ever since the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. So they`ve already figured out how to offer training courses that don`t require live rounds. And that works, to a point.
"We can work around some stuff but when it comes to qualifications, we really need to have live duty ammunition," Scheuer said.
Another problem, the cost of that ammo is going up. Anywhere from five percent for Bismarck police up to 15 percent for others.
"We still have training requirements we have to fill and that can`t be dictated by cost or price of ammunition going up," Scheuer said.
The big advantage is they`ve been in this place before. It just takes planning, figuring out what training they`ll offer months before it happens and making sure the right ammunition is there when that training starts.
Scheuer says the department has already ordered all of the ammunition they`ll need for this year. He`s starting to plan for what they`ll need in 2014.