Utica Police have some new gear and some new guns they say will help them stay safer on the job. YNN's Andrew Sorensen tells us how the equipment can keep police and the public out of harm's way.
UTICA, N.Y. -- Police work isn't what it used to be and it seems like officers are stuck in unpredictable situations far more often.
Utica Police Sergeant Steve Hauck said, "We felt the need after some incidents have occurred throughout the country where police officers have been outgunned by assailants, that it was important for us to be able to have the capability to engage a subject from a distance."
Hauck unveiled two new pieces of gear Friday that should help. One is a new Smith and Wesson high powered rifle which has a much longer range than their standard shotgun. Hauck says it has to do with the grooves inside the barrel and the aerodynamic rounds. While it's not an unlimited range, they do work in a city.
"It more than fits our capability," he said.
The other new tool is more diplomatic: The Long Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD.
"Our primary function is to use it during mass gatherings," said Sergeant Samuel Geddes.
The LRAD was originally for military use. Police say it can help spread a message very quickly.
"You hear this PA system and there's no mistaking that it's us and what we want you to do," Hauck said.
Its range is good for hundreds of yards and it can help in evacuations or anything else they need to say to a lot of people quickly.
"Like we did with the brewery fire a few years back. We had to evacuate not only the brewery itself, but all the houses in the surrounding area. We had to do that door to door," Hauck said.
Now they don't. They can even communicate in other languages.
"You know we can program Bosnian and Spanish and essentially any language that we have locally," Hauck said.
They hope both pieces can help keep otherwise dangerous situations better under control.
Utica Police say both the firearms and the acoustic device were paid for with grants.