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Boston to arm patrol cops with semiautomatic assault rifles
The Boston Police Department is preparing a plan to arm as many as 200 patrol officers with semiautomatic assault rifles, a significant boost in firepower that department leaders believe is necessary to counter terrorist threats, according to law enforcement officials briefed on the plan.
[efoods]The initiative calls for equipping specialized units, such as the bomb squad and harbor patrol, with the high-powered long-range M16 rifles first, the officials said. The department would then distribute the weapons to patrol officers in neighborhood precincts over the next several months, according to the two law enforcement officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not have permission to speak publicly.
The officials did not know exactly when the department planned to start handing out the rifles but said police officials already have acquired the guns.
Police department spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll declined to discuss any details of the plan yesterday. She said the plan was still in an “inquiry stage.”
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