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St. Louis Police Consider Carrying Shotguns, Assault Rifles

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A St. Louis Police Department vehicle is pictured in front of the old police headquarters in downtown St. Louis on November 7, 2012. Photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt

A St. Louis Police Department vehicle is pictured in front of the old police headquarters in downtown St. Louis on November 7, 2012. Photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Fighting crime from the sky in St. Louis could soon be performed with unmanned drones if Police Chief Sam Dotson has his way but more immediately, police officers want to make sure they are not outgunned by criminals while fighting crime on the ground.

St. Louis Police Association Business Manager Jeff Roorda says many departments nationwide have already moved to arming police officers with 40 or 45 caliber firearms. St. Louis Police still carry a 9mm Beretta.

“It seems to be the opinion of at least our members that we need more stopping power. Not more firepower but more stopping power,” he said. “The larger caliber provides that in an urban setting like this.”

Roorda says St. Louis Police must switch to a new firearm because the Beretta 92 is no longer in production.

The Uniform Safety Committee makes the decision on switching guns and Roorda says reaching a consensus is challenging.

“The department is still at the table and we’ll reach an agreement in the relatively near future. There’s external pressure with the gun we currently carry in the department being out of production,” he said.

Roorda believes in the near future, police cars will once again be equipped with shotguns in addition to assault rifles, such as the AR-15.

“Our main thing is to make sure that our officers have the right options when they’re deploying lethal or less than lethal force,” he added.

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