They serve and protect... and their job involves carrying a gun. But minus the bullets it's basically a paper weight.
Ammunition and gun sales are soaring with the renewed talk about new gun laws.
The Parkersburg Police Department has 65 officers that must pass a shooting course three times a year in order to qualify as officers.
Their swat team shoots once a month and they have to buy ammunition for pistols, rifles and shotguns.
Sgt. Greg Collins says one thing is certain, police departments can't do without ammunition.
"People are basically selling a year's worth of ammunition in days across the country in some places," Collins says. "So this is something. When we started seeing this, we took some measures; we did the right thing."
He says right now the department is in good shape, but they are very concerned that it could catch up with them.
If the ammunition shortage drags on for a lengthy period of time, it's going to cause issues.