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Police commission beefs up LAPD firepower

badge grfk March 19, 1997
Web posted at: 1:40 p.m. EST (1840 GMT)

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- The Los Angeles Police Commission voted Tuesday to give L.A. police officers heavier firepower to compete against increasingly better-armed criminals.

Officers will be allowed to carry .45-caliber semi-automatic pistols in place of the 9 mm and .38-caliber revolvers they are currently carrying. In addition, 550 police supervisors will have access to AR-15 assault rifles along with shotgun "slug" ammunition. That ammunition has greater "knockdown" ability when fired against suspects wearing body armor.

The commission vote for the heavier firepower comes after a February shoot-out between police and bank robbers armed with AK-47 rifles, armor-piercing bullets and body armor.

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