University of California Santa Cruz Police Department
UC Santa Cruz PD Policy Manual


Patrol Rifles


In order to more effectively and accurately address the increasing level of fire power and body armor utilized by criminal suspects, the University of California Santa Cruz Police Department will make patrol rifles available to qualified patrol officers as an additional and more immediate tactical resource.




A patrol rifle is an authorized weapon which is owned by the Department and which is made available to properly trained and qualified officers as a supplemental resource to their duty handgun.. No personally owned rifles may be carried for patrol duty unless pre-approved in writing by the Chief of Police and the department armorer.



Only weapons and ammunition that meet agency authorized specifications, approved by the Chief of Police, and issued by the Department may be used by officers in their law enforcement responsibilities. The authorized patrol rifle issued by the Department is the Colt AR-15 M4 LE6940



 (a) Primary responsibility for maintenance of patrol rifles shall fall on the Rangemaster, who shall inspect and service each patrol rifle on a annual basis.

 (b) Each patrol officer carrying a patrol rifle may be required to field strip and clean an assigned patrol rifle as needed.

 (c) Each patrol officer shall be responsible for promptly reporting any damage or malfunction of an assigned patrol rifle.

 (d) Any patrol rifle found to be unserviceable shall be removed from The rifle shall be clearly labeled as “out of service” and details regarding the weapon's condition shall be included on the label.

 (e) Each patrol rifle shall be subject to inspection by a supervisor or the Rangemaster at any time.

 (f) No modification shall be made to any patrol rifle without prior written authorization from the Rangemaster.


432.5    TRAINING

Officers shall not carry or utilize the patrol rifle unless they have shown competency with the Firearms Instructor.



Officers may deploy the patrol rifle in any circumstance where the officer can articulate a reasonable expectation that the rifle may be needed. Examples of some general guidelines for deploying the patrol rifle may include, but are not limited to:

 (a) Situations where the officer reasonably anticipates an armed encounter.

 (b) When an officer is faced with a situation that may require the delivery of accurate and effective fire at long range.

 (c) Situations where an officer reasonably expects the need to meet or exceed a suspect's firepower.

 (d) When an officer reasonably believes that there may be a need to deliver fire on a barricaded suspect or a suspect with a hostage.

 (e) When an officer reasonably believes that a suspect may be wearing body armor.

 (f) When authorized or requested by a supervisor.

 (g) When needed to euthanize an animal.



The discharge of the patrol rifle shall be governed by the Department's Deadly Force Policy, Policy Manual § 300.



Any qualified officer carrying a patrol rifle in the field shall maintain the weapon in a patrol ready condition until deployed. A rifle is considered in a patrol ready condition when it has been inspected by the assigned officer, the fire selector switch is in the safe position, the chamber is empty and a fully loaded magazine is inserted into the magazine well.



 (a) When not in use, patrol rifles will be stored in the department armory in rifle racks.

 (b) The designated rifle number will be recorded on the Daily Activity Log to dispatch prior to going on duty.

 (c) When not deployed, in-service patrol rifles should be secured in the vehicle in a locked gun rack or locked in the trunk.

 (d) At the end of the assigned officer's shift, the patrol rifle will be returned and secured in the department armory.




Policy 432 PDF