A city that has run Sig Sauer P220 and 229 handguns in .45ACP and .40S&W for going on a quarter century has decided to make the change to Glock Model 19 Safety Action pistols in 9mm, citing the need to move to guns that were more reliable than the ones they currently have.

The town


(Uptown Norwalk, Photo by Wikipedia)

Just off Lake Erie, the "Maple" town of Norwalk, Ohio was quite literally born from the flames of war. Founded by those fleeing Norwalk, Connecticut after it was burned to British Loyalists during the Revolutionary War, the town of some 17,000 is ideal. Located 50 miles away from Cleveland and within walking distance of the Ohio Turnpike, the city bills itself as "the best little city" in the state.

However, the best little city is now looking for the best little handguns for its local law officers.

The department


(Norwalk PD patches, Photo by NPD)

A small but efficient police department with an authorized strength of 25 full-time officers and up to 15 reserve officers protects Norwalk. An agency with a long history, they take safety seriously, having only lost one officer in the past 98 years. With this in mind, they field a K9 team, an SRT unit, and even a military surplus MRAP armored vehicle for if things really get weird.

It is with safety in the forefront that the department wants to trade out their current SIG P-series guns for newer Glock 19s, after exercising some failures in training.

"Some of the Sigs are starting to malfunction. We've had to replace springs and things I'm not comfortable with," Chief Dave Light told the Norwalk Reflector.

The town has used SIGs since 1989, updating them once already about ten years ago. Currently NPD has an armory of a mix of Model 220 single stack .45's and Model 229 double-stack .40S&W guns. Being time again for an upgrade, they are jumping ship to go Glock.

The trade


(An NPD officer makes ready with his current SIG P-220 pistol at the range. The agency wants to trade in these guns for Glock 19s, Photo by Norwalk Reflector)

In exchange for trading their SIGs, the department can get 35 new G19 9mm guns for $1,225, which breaks down to a token $35 per gun. Besides the reliability of newer guns, the chief cites the fact that the striker-fired Glocks have the same full-time trigger pull by design whereas the agency's current SIGs have a double action/single action hammer with two different set points and a safety/decock lever, all of which mean additional training.

Then it seems that the Glock's torture test reputation has preceded it in Light's mind.

"They still pulled them out of the mud and (could) shoot them," Light told the Reflector, citing a video where individuals threw a Glock from a helicopter and it still worked. "It's a safer weapon -- just as reliable, if not more reliable (than the Sigs)."

Chief Light is asking the city council for their blessing on the deal and allocation of the $1,225 from the budget at an upcoming board meeting this week.