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Ga. Police Upgrade to .40-Caliber Sidearms to Counter Criminals

Ga. Police Upgrade to .40-Caliber Sidearms to Counter Criminals

(Stock Photo)

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution via YellowBrix

January 26, 2010

DeKALB, Ga. — Gangs and drug traffickers have ditched their pistols for assault rifles and other military-style firearms, leaving police outgunned.

To beef up its arsenal, the DeKalb County Police Department is trading in its 9 mm handguns for .40-caliber weapons, which are more effective.

Last week, the County Commission approved the purchase of 1,200 Smith & Wesson .40-caliber handguns to replace the force’s Berettas.

“A common weapon on the streets is a .40 caliber,” acting DeKalb police Chief William O’Brien said. “We’re a little behind the times with the 9 mm.”

Most officers in the metro area and across the nation carry .40-caliber handguns. Some, like DeKalb, give officers the option to carry higher-powered weapons as long as they are trained.

Check out PoliceLink’s extensive handgun reviews.

For O’Brien, the problem was twofold: The department’s 9 mm Berettas were more than 20 years old and no longer manufactured.

“We couldn’t replace them,” he said.

Officers on the streets also found their 9 mm guns could not compete with those in the hands of criminals armed with .40-caliber handguns and assault rifles.

“We got some pretty heinous weapons,” DeKalb District Attorney Gwen Keyes Fleming said. “We’re seeing AK-47s, street sweepers, military-style weapons. It’s not just your mom’s pistol any more.”

Last year, the county tested weapons from four manufacturers who submitted bids.

“We brought all of the weapons to the range,” O’Brien said. “Officers could go shoot each one and fill out a survey. This model was chosen by the majority of officers.”

Commissioner Lee May said he was pleased the decision was made by officers, not the administration.

“They chose what’s best for them,” he said. “It’s about the officers being safe.”

The $207,475 contract will pay for 1,200 guns, holsters and magazines to outfit the department.

Atlanta police officers also carry .40-caliber Smith & Wesson guns. The department is considering arming its force with assault rifles but is still doing research on the benefits of the weapons, said Officer Otis Redmond, a police spokesman.

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  • Img00039_max50

    bfriskey

    over 4 years ago

    980 Comments

    Thanks for going in the Right direction but still behind the curve.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION YOU'LL BE HAPPY

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    M&P seems to be the modern day Glock with as many departments and as fast as they are going to them. I know my M&P 45 is AMAZING and shoots like a total dream...

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Glock10mmForMe

    over 4 years ago

    66 Comments

    This might be a good move but I really hope they stick with heavier (165 gr, or better 180gr) bullets for these guns. The Winchester 180 grain T-Series is a very good round if carrying a .40.

    For years, I and others noted a perceived inadequacy of .40's to do their job in many shootings. Yes, bullet placement IS very important, but when you are making hits to vital areas and the bad guy doesn't go down, and even more rarely dies, there is an issue somewhere. On paper and in theory, the .40 should have been doing a much better job than .38's and 9mm's it replaced, but that did not seem to be the case. The best theory any of us could come up with, was that many agencies were using light (135-155 grain) bullets for some time and perhaps they were expanding too quickly before penetrating deeply enough to do what needed doing. With gaining acceptance of heavier projectiles, actual shootings seem to be yielding a better ratio of stopped and deceased perps.

    Just my humble opinion.

  • Chris_and_i_in_uniform_max50

    JP503

    over 4 years ago

    7616 Comments

    Nice move. Nice to see the brass allowed the officers to pick the gun they wanted.

  • Anonymous-killer-whale-232189_1__max50

    Whalewatcher

    over 4 years ago

    11194 Comments

    A good first step !!! Glad the offficers can purchase their own AR-15s for use on duty, as well. Like others have already said, though, shot placement is critical. Practice, practice, practice !!!

  • Photo__1__max50

    thestugots01

    over 4 years ago

    192 Comments

    I love my glock 19. High capacity, and SHOT PLACEMENT, caliber doesnt mean crap.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    I'm proud to say that my former department issues .40 caliber glocks, AR-15's with EOTechs, and non-lethal 12 GA Remington 870's to all patrol personnel. Training is strenuous and continueous. But, it is expensive!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    TacticalJay

    over 4 years ago

    12 Comments

    add the ar-15 in the trunk

  • Att179311_max50

    Elite1grey

    over 4 years ago

    1722 Comments

    now issue them some fnP-90's too

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Ironbutt270

    over 4 years ago

    18 Comments

    I fail to see the logic in statements, but not neccesarily in the decision to change from 9mm to .40S&W. First off, if the logic is to equip the department with the .40S&W round because "There's some pretty nasty stuff out there", you've failed the test. You're still outgunned against rifles, and have not moved the ball against pistol v. pistol. Now, if you would have told me that you were equiping each member with a patrol rifle and EOTech, I'd buy the argument.

    Just saying...

  • Sfa_iv_max50

    revCCBeasley

    over 4 years ago

    2944 Comments

    About Time.....Va did back in 06.....Ya Jonas

  • Ba_old_glory_max50

    Jonas

    over 4 years ago

    42238 Comments

    You gotta fight fire with fire. Hope this is the first in along line of upgrades.

  • Ba_old_glory_max50

    Jonas

    over 4 years ago

    42238 Comments

    You gotta fight fire with fire. Hope this is the first in along line of upgrades.

  • 0926081807_mod_1_max50

    Dangerfish

    over 4 years ago

    70 Comments

    I disagree with .40cal. Too snappy. More rounds the better. Shot placement is the determining factor in a gunfight, get a CNS shot, you win. With more rounds your chances of getting that hit are higher, provided they don't cheap out on the ammo.

    Instead of replacing a gun that works, why not invest in a little more range time?

    I am surprised at that price. Holsters alone should have cost $100 each with a contract. Anything other than Safariland or Bladetech and you are asking to get your weapon taken from you.

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