It's out with the old and in with the new for the Bexar County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies are training with new firearms and gearing up for patrols in their new Chevy Tahoes.

The agency recently received federal grant money to purchase 51 AR-15 semi-automatic patrol rifles.

What we're seeing on the streets - things are getting even tougher especially with the drug wars going on. It's like everybody has a rifle now where in the past it was just a handgun, says Sgt.Steve Amerson with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office.

Officers are going through 40 hours of training with the new firearms at Lackland.

From there, it's off to the driving course where deputies are spinning the wheels of their new Chevy Tahoe patrol vehicles. Officers are learning how to handle the new fully-equipped SUVs in simulated emergency situations.

Investigators say they switched to the SUVs after Ford stop manufacturing the Crown Victoria police cruiser.

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