The New York Police Department, in its infinite wisdom, has issued the boys in blue GLOCK, SIG and other handguns with a 12-pound trigger pull for the last century or so. The “reasoning” for that making the trigger pull so heavy cuts down on negligent discharges.
Apparently adequately training the boys in blue never occurred to anyone at the NYPD.
The problem with a 12-pound trigger, of course, is it also makes shooting accurately much more difficult. That’s resulted in New York’s Finest spraying rounds around the town when they’ve had to use their guns against perps. In a densely populated urban environment, that means significantly higher chances of hitting something — or someone — by mistake.
As the Daily News reports . . .
Last year, officers shot 256 bullets in 26 incidents with suspects. But cops’ missed their target in half of those incidents, according to NYPD data. When cops don’t hit their target, they are likely to fire more shots, police said.
Those 12-pound triggers are why New York cops have a reputation for shooting about as well as imperial stormtroopers. At least the stormtroopers can blame those white helmets with the little eye slits.
But it seems the NYPD brass has had a sudden epiphany about their duty guns. They’ve been training cadets with lighter pull weight pistols and . . .
Now, after field tests at the NYPD firing range at Rodman’s Neck in the Bronx, police believe that officers fire more accurately with a 9mm handgun that has a trigger pull — meaning the pressure required to fire a bullet — of five pounds.
Really? Do tell.
The 457 recruits who were tested, most of whom never fired a weapon before, had an average score of 93.7 with the lesser pull and 88.7 with the 12-pound pull, police said.
Accuracy tests showed that 129 officers already working the streets also scored better with the lighter pull.
Will wonders never cease?
But don’t get too excited. While giving current cops guns with standard pull weight triggers would (naturally) improve their marksmanship, the wise men at the top of the NYPD are taking this transition slowly. They’ll only be issuing pistols with the good triggers to new recruits.
‘’We’re building (recruits) up from scratch, so to speak,” [Marlon] Larin said. “As we’re training them we’re assessing them and we can also follow them throughout their careers. We didn’t want to go so large. We know this is a very sensitive topic and we wanted to phase it in slowly.”
Naturally, the change in policy is not without its critics…primarily people who know virtually nothing about firearms or marksmanship.
Lawyer Randolph McLaughlin, who represented the family of Mohamed Bah, a mentally ill Harlem man shot dead in his apartment in 2012, said the NYPD is making a mistake.
“It’s making the weapon more deadly for more people. And I think at a time when we’re questioning the discharging of weapons by police, when we’re providing officers non-lethal force devices, such as Tasers, why would you want to make it easier for cops to shoot people?” he asked. “That just doesn’t make any sense — you’re putting more people at risk.”
Prediction: Some time in the not too distant future, when more graduating academy classes are out there walking the beat with the standard 5-pound triggers, a cop with an old 12-pounder is going to shoot at a suspect and kill a bystander.
The bystander’s family will then sue the hell out of the NYPD and point to the fact that they have objective data showing that their cops are more accurate — and therefore less prone to hitting innocent people — when carrying standard pull weight triggers. And yet they’ve refused to issue those (safer) guns to the entire force.
We’ll be watching.