Fielding criteria for agency selecting new police duty pistols

#1
I am new here to Primary Secondary forums, as this is one of my first discussion posts. Retired Active Army, current civilian LEO. I've been tasked by department in soliciting bids for new duty pistols for our agency. I want to put forth some due diligence in selecting the right option for our agency, as I have witnessed other local agencies selected the new fad or "in thing" only to have buyers remorse afterwards. In trying to avoid these issues by other agencies, I want to make sure our decision is an informed and whatever platform we select, will be sustainable for years of usage by the individual officer. Our agency is a smaller agency just outside of a larger city in Iowa. Currently we have 9 full time officers with 1-2 reserves. We are currently issued Glock 22's and from my understanding have had them for almost 20 years. However, our agency does not mandate that you carry a Glock, but the individual officer has the choice of carrying another model, after the weapon has been inspected by myself. I currently carry an HK VP9 9mm for duty use and another officer carries a Sig 320 in 9mm. I am trying to pick the brain of some of fellow like minded LEO's and SME's (subject matter experts) in procurement and fielding new equipment. Obviously, I am looking for durability and reliability for police use, but also important is the maintenance and material piece. With those things considered, availability of duty holsters, weapon mounted lights and other accessories are critical. What criteria have some of you fellow LEO's followed? What were some of your findings in terms of researching different manufacturers for customer service and support? Does this include armorer's training and other depot level support to the agency? Some feedback from LEO's who have gone to other manufacturers than Glock to another platform would be greatly appreciated. Not saying that Glock is not being considered, am just wanting feedback on how that transition went. Thanks.
 
#2
It's hard to beat the Glock 17/19 series as the "easy button" for department issue to the masses. Simple manual of arms, simple armorer's training and toolkit, cheap ammunition for training and duty use. Lots of accessory and support stuff available.

Some people boohoo the ergonomics and trigger but frankly, the average patrol guy doesn't shoot enough or well enough, to really know the difference. The Gen 5 guns seem to be a substantial improvement in both areas.

If you're writing solicitations, google some of the various fed.gov pistol specifications and check out the way they phrase things, such as DHS and FBI contracts. A lot of them are written very carefully, so as to favor a preferred manufacturer and model, without being "unfair".
 
#3
I definitely agree with Raoul Duke, no body does a mass issue duty pistol like Glock. I have numerous times tried to evaluate different systems, but in my area there is very little in the way of customer support and sales from other big names like S&W, Sig Sauer, Beretta, etc. Glock's blue label program makes it almost impossible to consider other options because it just makes too much financial sense for the individual officer purchase, when I'm stuck paying full retail for other competitors.

We run Glock 22/23 Gen 4's, despite my best efforts to switch to 9mm when we traded in our Gen 3 40's that were choking with pistol lights. Having gone through armorer recert this year, I believe the Gen 5 17 & 19's are very solid options for duty pistols.

Might want to consider red dot options for pistols also. I was in denial, but P&S and others have won me over on the MRDS on pistols thing. A red dot sighted duty sidearm is the present/near future.
 
#4
I've been through several transition programs (revolver to semiautomatic, 9mm SIG 226 to .40 SIG 226. and .40 226 to 9mm FNS-9). While I disagreed with the results, I think we made the greatest effort to be fair in the last transition. It wasn't perfect, but the instructor who spearheaded the project seemed to do his best.

I'd agree with Raul's suggestion of researching federal contracts to ensure you don't miss something in your selection criteria. I'd also narrow down selection before making a choice. We attempted to get a variety of officers of different characteristics (both genders, instructors/non-instructors) to shoot a variety of pistols (SIG 229, SIG 226 DAK, SIG 250, Glock 22, Glock 23, Smith M&P40. Smith M&P Compact for some odd reason), and FNS-40. We then voted, weighting our answers. While most liked the striker-fired pistols about the same, the one who liked the FNS-40 really liked it. Then FN America's distributor lowered the price to beat the much less expensive M&P. Then we decided to go to 9mm. I suspect we might have done better had we narrowed the selection down to two or three guns rather than the popularity process we endured.

We were also influenced because while on most issues, our then chief said he would rely on the opinions of his "experts", he hated Glocks for some reason, considered them cheap guns, and vowed that we would never go to Glock. I also think we had officers enthusiastic for FN because the evil county carries Glock and we would be one of the only agencies anywhere to utilize FN pistols. I don't know if that enthusiasm continued when they had to find off duty holsters or when the pistols routinely double fed with lights attached. (In fairness to FN, they acknowledged the problem, were very responsive, and replaced our barrels and magazines, eliminating the problem.)

While I worked for a small agency, yours is much smaller. This has an advantage if everyone loves a particular pistol that meets your standards. It has the downside that your agency make-up will vastly change when one, two, or three officers leave and are replaced.

I will not that Glock does have an advantage in that parts, training, and armorer support are readily available. Transition training would be minimal to change caliber and generation. You would also minimize duty gear transition.