APD officers will no longer be able to use personal guns on duty

Updated: 05/08/2014 6:29 PM | Created: 05/08/2014 1:53 PM
By: Kai Porter, KOB Eyewitness News 4

In the near future, officers will no longer be able to use their personal weapons on duty. It’s a change Chief Gorden Eden hopes will bring more uniformity and discipline to his department.

On Monday, Chief Eden sent out an internal memo stating:

“The department is in the process of acquiring new Smith and Wesson 9mm and Glock 9mm handguns. Once the new handguns arrive, all officers will be required to carry a department issued handgun while on duty. There will be a transition class that will accompany the issuance of the new firearm, followed by a day and night qualification. The S.O.P (Standard Operating Procedure) will be updated at a later date to reflect this change.”

In a scathing report released last month, the Department of Justice criticized the department’s policy that allowed officers to use personal weapons, as long as they were approved by the department.

The DOJ report stated, “We were informed that many officers purchase expensive, high-powered guns as soon as they are allowed, using their own money. Officers see the guns as status symbols. APD personnel we interviewed indicated that this fondness for powerful weaponry illustrates the aggressive culture.”

Chief Eden said he is also standardizing officers’ uniforms.

“I don't want to get too far out in front of the Department of Justice but there are things that we can do right away based on one of their recommendations,” he said. One of them is uniformity. "

He said there is no deadline for when officers will receive their department-issued guns, because it depends on when the manufacturer can ship the supply.

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