Standardization of police officer firearms department issue vs. personally owned




Cordero, Michael

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)


The transition from revolvers to semi-automatic handguns in the 1980s forced police departments to modify their training programs and program protocols. There was also the issue of lean budgets and how a firearms training program would be funded. These issues are still debated but the argument is whether departments should issue standardized weapons or allow officers to make a choice about what they carry. Many large police departments have department-issued duty weapons. They tout the benefits of a more focused handgun program limited to one or two handgun models. One of these touts are uniform instruction that does not have to take into account many different models of firearm. In small police departments, officers purchase a duty weapon of their personal preference. Even though officers choose their own weapons, the department is still accountable for adequate firearms training. The reduction in liability far outweighs the cost of purchasing each officer’s firearm for large departments. They also see a saving in purchasing only one caliber of ammunition. In contrast, the small agencies must purchase and keep on hand ammunition for many different caliber weapons. This can have a detrimental effect on a department’s annualbudget. Regardless of size, all police departments recognize their responsibility to providea safe and reliable firearms program for the duration of an officer's career. By evaluating the two sides, department-issued handguns and personally-owned, there are many factors that determine what is best for each individual agency.Research from industry authors and articles from police magazines and websites agree on the benefits of a standardized weapon for duty use.


Discusses the choices of a department to have standard issued handguns vs. personally-owned guns and the benefits and cost to each choice.


Police - - equipment and supplies, police equipment