The Salt Lake City Police Department wants to upgrade some of its guns — but these guns are less-lethal.
“Tasers are okay, but we really don't have a lot of distance with those,” said Salt Lake City police Det. Greg Wilking.
The less-lethal guns in question are never meant to fire a real shotgun shell. Rather, they shoot bean bag bullets.
“We're looking for a grant to help us pay for our less-lethal shotgun bean bag rounds,” Wilking said.
That’s because the ones used now are old. Wilking says they only fire one round at a time and are not very accurate.
“The sights can get off, the tubes on the launchers can get bent, so there are a variety of problems,” Wilking said.
Police are able to pay for some, but on Tuesday, the city council pushed forward with a grant application to help pay for even more.
“All those things we're asking for, the reason we ask for it is because we need it,” Wilking said.
The department has 40 bean bag guns now, and it hopes that number will double or triple.
“Is it going to stop all officer-involved critical incidents? No. Because we may not have time to deploy that," Wilking said.
The less-lethal guns are part of an application that asks for a number of other crime-fighting tools, including a new mobile command unit. The one they have now is from the 2002 Olympics. Wilking says it's outdated and has maintenance issues.
The city council unanimously voted to move the application process forward to be voted on at an upcoming meeting. They did not say in which meeting this issue will come up again.