In a move that I expected to take place more than 20 years ago, the Atlanta Police Department is transitioning from Smith & Wesson pistols to Glock handguns. Patrol officers and other cops will begin carrying the Gen4 version of the model 22, while the SWAT team will carry the Gen4 version of the model 21.
Smith & Wesson had the Atlanta Police Department as a customer since the 1940′s, and the agency had transitioned to the M&P pistols about five years ago.
Having worked as a police officer in the metro-Atlanta area, I saw first hand how aggressively the Glock company pursued law enforcement contracts in the 1990′s. Extremely lucrative deals were offered including a one-for-one swap for existing duty pistols for brand new Glock pistols. Many departments jumped on the offers to replace worn out pistols or to transition from the 9mm to the .40 S&W cartridge with little or no out of pocket expenses.
Atlanta PD, however, did not swap to Glock pistols. I never understood the department’s reluctance to switch to the handguns, especially after seeing the condition of their third generation S&W pistols.
While I believe the M&P is an excellent pistol, having the pistol manufacturer’s US headquarters in your backyard is likely to help ensure good service.