The number of law enforcement agencies using Glocks grew by more than a dozen during the first quarter of 2018, and the company’s handguns are currently the preferred pistol for 65 percent of departments nationwide. The South Carolina Highway Patrol and West Virginia State Police are among the latest to join the growing roll.
The West Virginia State Police have ordered 850 Glock 17 Gen 5 pistols, which are chambered in 9 mm and have a capacity of 17+1. The pistol has a 4.49-inch barrel, weighs 25.04 ounces unloaded and features more than 20 design changes from the previous Gen 4 version.
Lt. Robert Perry, from the West Virginia State Police explained, “The Glock outperformed any other manufacturer tested…The WV State Police has always prided itself in providing the best available equipment to its members and that is why we have chosen Glock.”
Total number of guns purchased by the South Carolina Highway Patrol—a division of the state’s Department of Public Safety since 1993—wasn’t available, but the department has more than 950 sworn officers on staff. “Reliability is synonymous with Glock,” said L/Cpl. Colbert of the South Carolina Highway Patrol. “When our officers leave for work every day there’s usually only two things we make absolutely sure we have—our Glock and our body armor.”
“We are excited to welcome these agencies to the Glock family and to provide reliability to those who go into harm’s way,” said Glock Vice President Josh Dorsey. “Glock has been providing reliable firearms to law enforcement agents who serve and protect for over 30 years."
Widespread acceptance of the pistol didn’t come overnight. “When first it appeared on the American handgun scene in the mid-’80s, the Glock G17 pistol was a great curiosity for one huge reason—it was made of plastic,” Wiley Clapp explained in a Fightin’ Iron installment last year. “When one of my buddies specified Glock G17 pistols (and only Glocks) for his police department, he was met with a storm of disapproval. The troops were convinced ‘a damned rubber gun’ would just not work for serious police work.” Despite the reservations, the company sold its 5 millionth handgun sometime in 2007 and has modest about totals since.