SPINK COUNTY - Having an old gun fail during an intense standoff would be a nightmare for an officer. That's why the Spink County sheriff has ordered new ones.
"The weapons that we carry are just like any other piece of equipment," says Kevin Schurch, the sheriff's deputy. "They get old and it gets to the point where there may not be as reliable as they once were."
LeRoy Fuerst has had his weapon for the past 19 years, but it's been with the department even longer than that. The guns are still functioning, but the wear and tear is showing.
"Anytime a weapon gets that much age there's small parts that can get worn and can get stoppages either with the pipe or something else," says Fuerst, chief deputy for the department. "I've had to replace a couple of pins over the years and a couple of other returns because they failed."
The station purchased 8 new Generation 4 Glocks, one for each officer.
"The company brags about this gun being able to pick it up off the ground and if it gets dirty, blow it off and make sure the barrel's empty and go back to firing because they are a weapon that has minimal moving parts in it," explains Fuerst.
The new gun will have a better grip, along with a new and improved recoil spring inside. The department hasn't had any negative incidents in the past due to the old guns, and they'd like to keep that record.
"For law enforcement where you have to depend 100% on that weapon, that it's not going to fail, it needs to be replaced," says Fuerst.
Officers should be getting their new weapons in three to four months.
The sheriff says the new guns will cost about $1300. As for the old weapons, the officers can purchase their old guns back from the company that created them if they'd like to keep them for personal use.