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St. Louis Police Consider Change In Weapons

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UPI/Bill Greenblatt

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — The St. Louis Police Officers Association recommends officers be armed with more powerful weapons. Chief Sam Dotson doesn’t necessarily disagree, but says the real “gun problem” is that criminals have too many of them.

“It is time to change the caliber of our duty weapon,” Police Officers Association President Sgt. David Bonenberger wrote last month. Association Use Committee member Joe Maver, in an interview Monday with KMOX News, added that now is the perfect time to make a switch.

He said the department’s equipment is in line for replacement and the manufacturer no longer makes the model currently in use in St. Louis. He said locally-conducted tests concluded that the 367 and 40 caliber would be the most appropriate, adding that both are F.B.I. approved and are common in police armories.

Criminals on the street are increasingly getting their hands on weapons similar to the 9 millimeter currently used by officers.

When KMOX News asked him about the issue following his swearing in ceremony last week, Chief Dotson said it’s not the type of weapon criminals have but the number of them.

“There’s just too many guns out in society,” he said. “We have to be strong on gun control, we have to be strong on taking guns out of the community, we have to be serious about the conversation.”

The Chief asserted that officers are not finding themselves engaged in regular gunfights. His biggest concern is with a lack of tough sentences for violent criminals.

On the matter of which weapon to order, Chief Dotson is expected to make a decision by the end of the year.

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