BUFFALO, Minn. - Chief Mitch Weinzetl keeps his department's ammunition under lock and key. With a national shortage, ammo is a precious commodity.
"We had gotten to a point where if we didn't get some soon we couldn't do our training," says Chief Weinzetl with the Buffalo Police Department. "It was a bit of a panic."
Realizing the supply is tight, Weinzetl now "stockpiles" ammunition in order to a have enough for the next year. He also submits an order months in advance knowing it takes time to receive their shipment.
"It looks like there are more people buying more ammo which is reducing the available supply for us," he says. "It's a troubling trend."
With high costs and wait times of up to a year, Buffalo P.D. has found better luck buying bullets at Wal-Mart and Cabela's.
In Proctor, Minnesota, Chief Walt Wobig found his department's ammunition supply low enough to ask the citizens in his city to help. And they did. At least one civilian donated 15 hundred bullets.
"I've had several other citizens call and say they have plenty of ammo if I need," he says.
Military needs and the fear of strict gun legislations play a role in the shortage. It means police officials must strategize and think ahead in order to properly train their personnel.
Larger departments like Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the Hennepin County Sheriff's Department have withstood the shortage.