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Old 02-15-2018, 11:39 PM
Newton Daily News Newton Daily News is offline
 
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Default Newton officers to receive new handguns

The Newton Police Department will be getting new handguns for every officer as current models have become dated. The Newton City Council approved the $12,000 purchase for 26 handguns, holsters and accessories from three vendors during its special meeting this week.

“We sent a couple of our guys to armor school, where they go to learn how to maintain them,” Newton Police Chief Rob Burdess said. “When they were there, the manufacturer indicated our current guns parts are no longer being manufactured. That is when we had to start looking soon than later.”

Officers had the opportunity to test and evaluate three different handguns from three different manufacturers. They had a choice between a Glock 21, a Smith and Wesson M&P M2.0 and a Sig Sauer P320, the same brand as the handguns currently used by the department.

“In order to provide a handgun that fits the individual needs of each officer’s size and shooting ability, the officers were given a choice in which handgun they wanted to carry on duty,” city administrator Matt Muckler said.

After testing was completed, handguns were selected from all three manufacturers. Eight officers chose the S&W M&P M2.0 at $3,512, 16 selected the Glock 21 at $7,504, one picked a Glock G30 at $469 and two preferred the Sig Sauer P320 at $864. For the 27 handguns going out of service, the department received $6,705 in trade-in value, more than half of the cost to purchase the new guns.

“Technology has changed so much in past 15 years. Now there are guns that are really interchangeable in terms of the equipment that is on it. That has really made them pretty modular for almost everybody to shoot,” Burdess said.

Accessories for the handguns, including holsters, is $4,729. The funds used to pay for the new equipment will come from the 2017B bond and remaining funds from the fiscal year 2018 police budget.

Officers will undergo a minimum of eight to 10 hours of training with the new weapons before they are carried on the street, Burdess said. A spring rollout is expected for the new firearms.

While the officers always have the handguns available to them, the likelihood of them being discharged is almost zero. Burdess said in his 20 years with the department, there has not been an event where a weapon was discharged with the exception of animals.

“That’s not to say it hasn’t been displayed. They always take precautions if it is a high-risk situation they may have their gun out, and it may be pointing at somebody, but when they do that they know there is potential they may have to use it,” Burdess said. “Tasers and hands-on are most typically used. You get a lot of compliance just by displaying that because people don’t want to be tased.”

Burdess said the department typically has less than 30 uses of force incidents out of the more than 18,000 citizen contacts officers have every year. That number is also consistent with nationwide figures which show half of 1 percent of all encounters result in force.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or jpierson@newtondailynews.com




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