TUPELO • By trading in their old pistols and buying in bulk, the Tupelo Police Department will be able to replace around 150 Glock firearms for about $7,000.
“After about five years, the (glow-in-the-dark) night sights start to lose their luminosity,” said Police Chief Bart Aguirre. “When we looked, it was going to cost about $50 a weapon just to have the sights replaced.”
When officials started looking, they would also need to replace the springs in the weapon magazines. Because the magazines are kept loaded and the springs remain fully compressed all the time, over time, the metal spring can fatigue and not operate properly.
“The spring won’t be able to load the next round as quickly as it needs to,” Aguirre said. “That can lead to the gun jamming.”
By trading in the department’s current 162 Glock pistols and purchasing 148 new guns, TPD was able to get a great price from Southern Connection Police Supply in in Ridgeland.
“It’s actually saving us money (compared to just replacing the sights),” Aguirre said. “Doing it this way it’s going to cost a little less than $50 per weapon.”
The move will allow the department to further standardize its sidearms. All patrolmen and detectives will receive the same 9mm pistol with a 17-rounds capacity. Members of the SWAT team will also be issued a second weapon with a longer slide. The bomb squad also receives a second weapon that is smaller than the standard pistol.
During the trade-in and issuance of new weapons, the officers will never be without a weapon. The department has already taken possession of the new weapons and is in the process of issuing them.
According to TPD policy, all officers must qualify on the firing range twice a year with their weapons.
“The way we are handling it, each officer will qualify with the new weapon,” Aguirre said. “Once they are recertified, the new weapon will go in the holster and the old one will be turned over to the property master.”
Tuesday night, the Tupelo City Council approved a motion to declare all of the old hand guns surplus. That will allow the department to trade them in for the new guns.