Bismarck Police Department officers are being equipped with new handguns.
On Tuesday, the city commission approved nearly $30,000 for the purchase of 140 Sig Sauer P320 duty-size handguns with X-ray sight, and 20 Sig Sauer P320 compact-size handguns.
"The department needs to replace our handguns due to some documented malfunctions and reliability concerns over the last couple of years," said Bismarck Police Chief Dan Donlin, noting officers are carrying the Smith & Wesson M&P.
Extensive testing of various firearms was conducted. In addition to the Sig Sauer P320s, the department tested the Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0, Glock 17 and Glock 19.
When the decision came down to the Sig Sauer P320s versus the Glocks, certified firearms instructors retested the guns.
"The Sig Sauer, in the majority of opinions, outperformed the Glock," Donlin said. "It provided a lot more overall comfort and handling in the varying hand sizes of our officers."
The Sig Sauer P320 has three sizes of grip modules from which to choose to accommodate officers' varying hand sizes.
"The Sig, out of the box, was very accurate. Even our best shooters couldn't believe how much better they shot with the Sig versus the Glock," Donlin said.