Arizona police department arming motorcycle police with AR-15s

Arizona police department arming motorcycle police with AR-15s
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Police in Tempe, Ariz., are now equipping some motorcycle police with AR-15 rifles that will be locked into place behind the officers, a local ABC affiliate reported

Eight motorcycles in use by the Tempe Police Department will now carry the rifles, to match the firepower of officers in patrol cars who have been using the rifle for years, a law enforcement authority told the news outlet.

The AR-15 has been at the center of a heated debate on gun control after it was used in a mass shooting at a Florida high school last month that left 17 people dead. 

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The Tempe police sergeant told ABC 15 News that while the visible rifle may be unnerving to some, the rifles would be an improvement for motorcycle police over standard handguns, as they are often the first units to arrive at the scene of a crime.

The department said it tested the mount's locking mechanism before equipping them. 

Last week, police in Tempe responded to the deadly crash of a self-driving Uber test vehicle and a woman crossing the street.