Boots & Sabers

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0951, 14 Jul 15

Defending Hoover Dam


LAS VEGAS (AP) — The federal agency overseeing water and power is in the market for 52,000 rounds of ammunition for its officers at Hoover Dam and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, raising questions about weapons for nonmilitary purposes.

The Bureau of Reclamation put out a bid in June for 41,600 rounds of hollow-point ammunition and 10,400 rounds of shotgun ammunition.

The ammo is paid for by revenue from utility companies that buy electricity from Hoover Dam, but the bureau won’t say how it will be used or offer details on its law enforcement plan at the popular tourist destinations. A 2008 review of federal law enforcement indicated 21 officers patrolled Hoover Dam, the Las Vegas Sun reported ( ).

These are vital parts of the area’s infrastructure that need to be defended from possible terrorist attacks, but that seems quite excessive. If the Hoover Dam is under an attack that warrants that kind of consumption of ammunition, one would think the military would get involved. Yes, they do need ammo to practice, but sheesh!


0951, 14 July 2015


  1. Dan

    The real question is why there is even a police dept. at Hoover Dam.
    If there is a terrorist attack, it will happen in Vegas, probably on the Vegas Strip or on Fremont Street in downtown Vegas.
    They are not going to attack Hoover Dam. What are they going to attack?
    The Dam? Nope, too big.
    Attack electrical lines? Maybe but it won’t cause too serious of problems because with today’s technology, they can get electricity elsewhere.
    They might attack the new big bridge dividing Arizona and Nevada. But after going over the bridge at least 100 times, I have never seen a cop there patrolling and the only time the cops are on the bridge is when there is a jumper.
    As far as Lake Mead, the Bureau of reclamation has such a small presence in the area, and the area is patrolled mostly by park rangers.
    So is there even a need to have a police dept. at Hoover Dam?

  2. Fairs Fare


  3. Mike

    This is the equivalent of arming the city DPW.
    All of the non LE Fed agencies need to be disarmed. The Marshals can handle security and fed LE functions for any other fed agency that requires enforcement action be taken. There is no good reason for any administrative agency to be armed, and a lot of good reasons for them to be disarmed.

  4. Fairs Fare

    On average a law enforcement officer will fire two hundred rounds per year during weapons training. Hoover Dam has twenty one officers and Lake Meade has an undisclosed amount. Let’s assume Lake Meade also has twenty one officers. That’s 8400 rounds per year just in training and from the article they don’t fill the ammo order every year. It’s only a six year supply. I find this order to be reasonable.

  5. T of B

    I am not big on conspiracy theories but I do recall several years ago speculation that all these agencies were buying ammo to keep some off the market and drive the price up on the regular market. And the government has purchasing contracts where they get this stuff at a much lower cost than what is paid on the regular market.

  6. Fairs Fare

    That’s ridiculous!

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