The St. Louis Police Department is due to replace sidearms for its 1,300 officers, reports the city’s Post-Dispatch. Beretta has stopped making the 9 mm semi-automatic officers have been carrying for more than a decade, and the Police Officers' Association has renewed its lobbying for the larger .40-caliber pistols, which the union says pack more stopping power plus have less tendency to pass through targets and on to unintended consequences.
Other departments, including St. Louis County, use the bigger weapon. The union's voice in the matter has gotten louder, given a collective bargaining agreement it says requires police leaders and the rank-and-file to reach an agreement before the department can change weapons. The union also is pushing police commanders to allow officers to use personally owned rifles on duty — an idea that several law enforcement agencies, including St. Louis County, the Illinois State Police and Missouri Highway Patrol, already endorse. But Chief Sam Dotson said that’s a “terrible idea.”