Police: Criminals have them outgunned; look to up firepower for officers

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by Matt Sczesny / KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on February 7, 2013 at 11:20 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 8 at 11:06 AM

(KMOV.com) – As criminals continue to escalate their firepower, St. Louis police say they need keep up in order to keep themselves and residents safe.

Police say many of the guns criminals use are bigger, more powerful and deadly than what officers carry and in response, the department’s gun experts are now seeking a handgun that is lighter, easier to handle and has the “take down power” that the standard nine milimeter handguns no longer give them.

“We’re outgunned out there all the time,” said Jeff Roorda of the St. Louis Police Officers Association. “The thugs out there have dangerous and sophisticated weapons.”

The 9 mm gun has long been the standard issue for police in the city. However, its days are numbered.

Metro Shooting Supplies in Bridgeton carries a wide selection of advanced weaponry- some of which police are considering for the future.

“Number one this is a powerful cartridge,” said owner John Stephenson, demonstrating a smaller, lighter weaponry and ammunition. “It is essentially close to the .357 magnum ballistics out of a small gun like this.”

Guns like newer Smith and Wessons are now becoming very popular with police, as they smaller but more powerful.

The increase in firepower needs to be carefully considered, and Roorda says the department is weighing options to make sure thir new weapons don’t endanger citizens.

“We’re immiently aware of the safety of the public,” he said. “We want to make sure whatever round we go with doesn’t go through two houses and hit an innocent person.”

The other consideration is cost, some types of ammunition are more expensive than others. Both concerns will be front and center, but the force is determined to level the playing field between officers and criminals. 

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