GROVELAND — It may not be the biggest police department around, but Groveland’s law enforcement officers have taken the lead in arming themselves with the latest in powerful handguns.
They said they weren’t looking to make a change from their nearly 10-year-old Glock .40 caliber semi-automatic pistols, but the deal they were offered on the larger .45 caliber weapon was too good to pass up. And, it didn’t cost the town any money, they said.
”We are the first police department in the area to do this and one of very few in the entire state,” police Chief Robert Kirmeleciwz said. “Any time that I can obtain new and better equipment for state of the art technology for my officers, at minimal cost to the town, I seize the opportunity. This is one of those times.”
It’s been more than 20 years since Groveland’s officers traded in their “old fashioned” .38 caliber revolvers for what the bad guys were using: sleek 9mm semi-automatic pistols that were more accurate, held more rounds, and could fire more rounds in less time.
Then about 10 years ago they changed over to Glock model 22 and model 23 .40 caliber pistols, said Patrolman Edwin Fournier, the department’s firearms instructor and armorer.
”The 9 mm is a fast and effective round, but not as effective as a heavier, slower moving .40 or .45,” Fournier said. “If you’re wearing a vest and you’re hit with a .40 caliber, it’s like being punched in the chest. But if you get hit with a .45, it’s like getting kicked in the chest as it’s a bigger, heavier bullet.” Fournier said Groveland’s 20 officers are now carrying the .45 caliber Glock 21SF as their official duty weapon.”It’s one of those things where if you ever had to use it you want the more effective round to protect the officer and the public,” Fournier said.