Bakersfield Police Department considers new firearms

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Bakersfield Police Officers are looking to make a big change while out on patrol.  The plan is to trade-in current firearms that may save the department thousands of dollars.

BPD is hoping to make the exchange after a number of malfunctions were noticed on current guns.  It became a safety concern and a reason to upgrade.

A company from Washington State is working on the exchange with police giving the city a trade-in value of 86 cents to the dollar.  Leaders say its a tremendous value considering the guns being traded-in vary in age and in generations.

A comparison study conducted by BPD has determined the 9MM luger caliber is the weapon of choice over its current .40 caliber firearm.

"Because of improvements in 9mm over the years, since we started with the .40 calibers in 1994, almost twenty years ago there's been improvements," said Sgt. Joe Grubbs with the Bakersfield Police Department.  

The caliber study referenced ballistic gelatin tests from three law enforcement sources and found the guns to be essentially equal in all areas, but it was the 9mm considered a more favorable caliber.


"Same platform so, we'll still be able to retain the same holster that we currently use, we are able to maintain the same magazine pouches that we currently use so it's basically a no cost upgrade to a new firearm," he said.

Experts say the 9mm has less felt recoil allowing officers to re-acquire the sight for faster and more exact follow up shots.  The cost of ammunition is less expensive than the .40 caliber with an estimated annual cost savings of $13,000.

".40 caliber has a little bit more stopping power.  You know, and if I'm on the streets as they are they want to make sure if they are confronted in some situation they want to have a better cartridge," said Leo A. Gonzales, assistant manager at Second Amendment Sports.

The 9mm pistols are maintenance free and have a longer street life.  The accessories used now are transferrable to the new guns and officers say there won't be a need for additional training.  The plan is to exchange 554 .40 calibers for 475 9mm.

"Going to a 9mm, its going to have a little bit less recoil but they will have no problem transitioning over," he said.

The Bakersfield Police Department is scheduled to address city council Wednesday where leaders will make their final decision on this gun upgrade.


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