KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)--We're learning more about why Knoxville Police switched guns. Emails between the chief and city council claim there was a mechanical problem with the newest Glock. The question: is this the only reason for wanting new guns?
We reviewed the documents and the email from Chief David Rausch that called for the gun change. We found some conflicting statements.
KPD's switch from Glocks to Sig Sauers is underway. Council was behind the move. City Council Member Marshall Stair says, "When the Chief says he and his team thinks this makes his officers safer in the field, I think we give deference to him and support his resolution. That's why it passed unanimously."
The chief's letter highlighted problems with the newest Glock saying 10 KPD weapons wouldn't fire properly. The gun distributor in Knoxville says he's never heard the complaints. The new .45's are expensive; each weapon costs at least $400 more than a Glock. Chief Rausch claims the new guns last twice as long as the Glocks, which he says have to be replaced about every 3 years. The local distributor tells me that's false adding some departments like Metro Nashville have used theirs for more than 12 years. Stair says, "I accepted what was told to me that they make officers more safe. Police officers put lives on line for city and residents. We want to do everything we can to keep them safe."
KPD paid for the guns in a trade telling us they traded used weapons and ammunition in return for 225 new pistols, a dozen other handguns, and training for 10 officers. What they received won't equip every officer. For phase two, KPD will trade confiscated firearms for new guns.
Knoxville Police tell us they won't discuss the decision to switch any further. We called Glock, Incorporated. As of now, they haven't returned our calls. We did reach out to other Glock distributors.
They told us they have had zero problems with the new Glock.