Ammo, overtime puts squeeze on police finances

Demarest Police Chief James Powderley says a mobile shooting range could help alleviate thousands of dollars worth of overtime for his department.

New Jersey police officers are required to pass two firearms qualifications each year in order to carry a weapon. Demarest does not have a shooting range, so officers must travel to Paramus in order to pass their certifications. The situation costs the department about $5,000 in overtime pay per year, according to officials.

Powderely says the creation of a mobile shooting range would provide on-the-spot training and keep overtime costs low. The search for more cost-effective policies has become a statewide concern.

Most departments are feeling a financial squeeze due to the rising cost of ammunition. Mahwah Police Chief James Batelli says ammunition prices have risen by between 25 and 50 percent. Batelli points to the country's military engagements as a cause of that problem.

"Demand is overseas," says Batelli. "That's where the supply is being sent, so there's a limit to law enforcement agencies."

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