CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - A local police department scrambled to get new weapons after learning its guns could accidentally fire if dropped.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant obtained a copy of an emergency order by Morrow’s Chief of Police pulling his department's new Sig Sauer pistols off the streets immediately.
While the gun maker plans to roll out a fix, the chief told Diamant between the safety of his officers and the public and the potential liability, he had no choice but to act now.
“It’s extremely alarming for me,” said Chief James Callaway.
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Callaway’s concerns grew as a growing number of online videos showed pricey Sig Sauer P320 pistols firing when dropped at certain angles.
“Actually, I got sick to my stomach,” Callaway said.
Callaway bought 30 P320’s for the department just a few months ago, but now he feels he can’t trust them. He said it's too risky for his officers and the public.
“I couldn’t bear to hear that the weapon went off and hit an innocent person, or hit an officer,” said Callaway.
Callaway pulled the Sigs out of service Thursday night and spent $15,000 on 30 new Glock pistols. Callaway told Diamant he used drug forfeiture funds to give taxpayers a break.
“That’s funds I could have used to send an officer to training or a conference or somewhere else, or Tasers or something needed elsewhere besides having to go ahead and replace weapons we already had in service,” Callaway explained.
This week, the company acknowledged the potential problem. A statement from the company said: “As a result of input from law enforcement, government and military customers, Sig has developed a number of enhancements in function, reliability, and overall safety including drop performance.”
Sig Sauer plans to roll out that program for those fixes on Monday, Callaway admits he might just sell back his department’s Sigs.
“At the end of the day when I go to bed at night, I want to have peace of mind with products that we have and we use and that our police officers are safe and the public is safe,” Callaway said.
For now, Morrow Police Department’s Sig Sauers remain locked up in its armory. We checked, but we have not yet found other local departments using the Sig P320. Other departments around the country do have them on their approved weapons list, including Dallas.
The company says the version selected by the US government for a massive military contract is not affected.
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