The Mount Olive Police Department will be sporting new sidearm weapons within 90 days.
Town commissioners, last week, approved Mount Olive Police Chief Tommy Brown’s request to declare the department’s current sidearms surplus, and replace them with new 9 mm handguns.
Local police have been carrying 40-caliber weapons for years, but ammunition for the guns has become harder to find and more expensive to buy than its 9 mm counterpart, according to Brown.
The police chief said 40-caliber ammunition is at least $5 to $8 more expensive per box than 9 mm ammunition.
The 40-caliber service weapons have been in use for about 12 years, he said.
Police use ammunition during ongoing training, practice and for weapon qualifying events.
The revenue from the sale of current weapons and others that have been confiscated, Chief Brown said, will be used to help purchase the new sidearms.
Town Manager Charles Brown also told town board members that there have been issues with the 40-caliber Glock pistols.
Twenty-two of the 27 firearms declared surplus were Glocks.
“We certainly do not want our officers on the street with service weapons that officers have had problems with, or malfunctions,” said the town manager.
Law requires all surplus weapons be sold to a licensed firearms dealer. They cannot be sold to anyone other than a licensed dealer.
Charles Brown said it will probably be about 90 days before the new weapons are issued.