ST. LOUIS (AP) -- St. Louis police may soon be fewer in number, but they'll have greater firepower.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the department is adding shotguns to patrol cars and higher-powered rifles for supervisors.
The decision comes as budget cuts may force the department to lose 80 of its more than 1,300 officers through attrition.
St. Louis police abandoned shotguns years ago in favor of short-barreled rifles. Those rifles use the same 9 mm pistol ammunition as the department's semi-automatic handguns.
But Lt. Mike Deeba says shotguns are less expensive than rifles and more effective in shorter distances.
Meanwhile, new .223-caliber rifles will be issued to supervisors, providing greater long-distance shooting capability that also can penetrate body armor.
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