State forced to make emergency ammo purchase when usual vendor demands money up front
SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Corrections was forced to make an emergency purchase of ammunition last month because of the state's inability to pay its bills.http://www.herald-review.com/news/state-and-regional/fb81093f-7a02-50d0-ac87-435778706729.html
The purchase happened after one of the state's ammunition vendors, Shore Galleries Inc., refused to ship bullets unless the company was paid upfront. The state owes the Lincoln-wood firm $6,000.
The department was able to find a new vendor quickly in Indiana and ordered 761,000 rounds for nearly $200,000.
Requests for comment from Shore Galleries Inc. were not immediately returned.
Corrections spokeswoman Januari Smith said guards were not in danger of having too few bullets to deal with inmates in the nearly 30 prisons throughout the state.
"Public health/safety was never at risk," she wrote in an e-mail response to questions about the no-bid bullet purchase.
Rather, the shortage affected cadet training academies, where future prison guards learn their trade. During their six weeks of training, each cadet uses roughly 600 rounds.