Jim Wells County Sheriff deputies are familiarizing themselves with their newly issued pistols.

Thanks to the drug forfeiture fund the county was able to buy 82 new pistols due to the federal changes made to law enforcement guidelines.

“Everyone is the department was issued a full size duty-weapon and a back up or off-duty weapon,” said Lt. Steve Dreyer of Special Operations with Jim Wells County Sheriff's Office.

The new pistols are valued at $12,159. The guns were deemed surplus by JWC commissioners and were allowed to be sold to off set the cost of the new guns.

“The key is that Alice PD has gone to 9mm along with several federal agencies. Due to the change in ammunition it makes the shooter or carrier feel more comfortable and confident about their skill level,” Dreyer stated. “We work closely with Alice PD and with the change we can easily transition ammunition in case we do have major active shooter scenario.”

JWC SWAT team is waiting forBureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to sign off on paper for 12 new rifles with silencers. The total for the rifles is unclear until the ATF signs off on the paperwork, according to Dreyer.

Dreyer has scheduled more training for the deputies including a ballistics training on Jan. 26 with a representative with an ammunition instructor to keep the deputies skills consistent and at the highest level possible.