The State of North Carolina is 560 miles wide, making it the widest state east of the Mississippi. With a total land area of 48,718 square miles, North Carolina has 100 counties and hundreds of incorporated municipalities. North Carolina ranks as the tenth most populous state in the nation with a population of 9,535,483 people.

Hundreds of law enforcement agencies operate in the state and GLOCK pistols are the popular choice of the state’s law enforcement officers. The following profiles are just a few of the agencies that use GLOCK pistols across the state.

GLOCK in Tarheel Country

With a population of just over 57,000, the town of Chapel Hill occupies an area of 22 square miles and is located near the city of Durham and the state capitol of Raleigh. Chapel Hill, which is best known as the home of the University of North Carolina, is a municipality with a diverse and vigorous population. Police officers charged with protecting and serving this community carry GLOCK pistols as their duty weapons. The GLOCK of choice in Chapel Hill is the GLOCK 22 .40-caliber. Since first being introduced by GLOCK in 1990, the GLOCK 22 has become the dominant pistol selected by police departments throughout the United States.

The Patrol Division is the principal unit of the department. Officers assigned to Patrol provide a range of services to the community, including responding to 911 emergency calls, traffic enforcement, and foot and bicycle patrols. Patrol officers in marked and unmarked vehicles perform specialized traffic enforcement with enforcement emphasis on driving while impaired violations, speeding in residential neighborhoods and school zones, and other hazardous violations. The educational component of the program includes child safety-seat installation, bike safety programs, new driver education and community outreach. Officers on foot patrol the central business district. These officers work with merchants and provide police services for visitors, shoppers and people working downtown. Bicycle patrols are conducted in the central business district, neighborhoods surrounding downtown, and on the city’s greenways. During the 2009-2010 fiscal year, patrol officers in Chapel Hill responded to 31,829 calls for service.

Founded in 1979, the Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) is a specialized unit of the Chapel Hill Police Department that is trained to respond to a variety of critical situations. Specialized methods, equipment and a high degree of training enable this unit to effectively respond to various types of situations. SERT is made up of officers who volunteer to be part of the team in addition to their regularly assigned duties. Examples of the types of critical incidents handled by the SERT include high-risk arrest warrant service, barricaded suspects, hostage situations, active shooter response and personal protection details. As part of their training, SERT officers fire their GLOCK pistols regularly to hone their marksmanship skills and use them while practicing specialized tactics like dynamic entries. Whether on patrol or responding to a critical incident, Chapel Hill police officers are well prepared with GLOCK on their side.

A High Point for GLOCK

The city of High Point is located in north-central North Carolina. High Point covers an area of 55 square miles and is the eighth largest municipality in North Carolina with a population of 115,000. High Point is unique in that it is the only city in North Carolina that lies in more than one county: Guilford, Davidson, Randolph and Forsyth counties. High Point is one of the three major cities that form the metropolitan area known as the Piedmont Triad, along with the cities of Greensboro and Winston-Salem, which it borders. High Point is well known for its important role as a center for the design, manufacturing and marketing of furniture. Twice a year, High Point hosts the International Home Furnishings Market, which is the largest furniture industry trade show in the world. Each Furniture Market brings in over 75,000 visitors to the city from all 50 states and over 110 countries. The High Point Police Department serves this community with a staff of 227 sworn police officers. GLOCK 22 pistols are the standard-issue sidearm of the department. Each issue pistol has night sights and the GLOCK accessory rail for accommodating weapon lights.

High Point Police patrol officers are the public’s initial point of contact and the backbone of the police department. Patrol officers work closely with citizens and businesses to provide for their safety and safeguard their property. Patrol officers maintain order by acting as first responders to emergencies, investigating crimes, conducting traffic stops and investigating traffic accidents. A specialized Street Crimes Unit, consisting of four officers and supervised by a lieutenant, is charged with proactive investigations of crimes such as burglaries, robberies and street-level drug sales. The unit also works with other government and non-government agencies to address quality of life issues of the public.

This unit takes the lead when greater resources are required. Using information gathered from patrol officers, detectives, crime analysts and the community, the Street Crimes Unit focuses on specific problems throughout the city.

Another key unit is the Tactical Team, which consists of 25 members. Officers serve on the Tactical Team on a part-time basis. Assignment to the team is very competitive, with selection criteria focusing on cognitive skills, physical abilities and firearms proficiency. Tactical Team officers use the standard-issue GLOCK 22 and have found that its reliability and accuracy serve them well during critical incidents. The Tactical Team is routinely utilized for a variety of issues, such as security during the Furniture Market, responses to barricaded subjects, warrant service for suspects wanted for extremely serious crimes, and any emergency that requires additional manpower. In the spring of 2010, the Tactical Team responded to the aftermath of a tornado. Within 30 minutes of the tornado touching down, the Team had arrived on scene and helped with search and rescue operations and security for the affected homes and people.

The Merits of GLOCK

Two experienced officers serving with the High Point Police Department, Master Police Officer III Patrick O’Toole and Master Police Officer II Byron Low, shared some of their insight on the use of GLOCK pistols with their agency. Officer O’Toole comes from a background working as a patrol officer and serving as team member on the Tactical Team. Currently, O’Toole serves as a recruiting officer and plays an important role in training police officer recruits. O’Toole sums up his opinion on the GLOCK 22: “I like it. The GLOCK pistol is easy to operate, easy to clean, and it is very easy to train new officers on how to use it.”

GLOCK pistols entered service with the department in 2004 and replaced a legacy semi-automatic pistol from another manufacturer. Both O’Toole and Low commented that the transition was a very positive one and that transition training was easy due to the simplicity and straightforward design of GLOCK pistols. O’Toole also says, “Since the adoption of the GLOCK 22 as our duty weapon, a large percentage of our officers have purchased GLOCK 23 compact pistols for use as their off-duty weapon. This is an advantage, since mechanically, both pistols operate the same and the GLOCK 22 magazine also works with the GLOCK 23.”

Officer Byron Low serves as the High Point Police Department armorer and as a firearms instructor. Low has a keen appreciation of the economic factors involved with using GLOCK pistols. “The logistics costs associated with using GLOCK are more affordable compared to other firearms makers. We conduct intensive firearms training throughout the year and it is common for our officers to fire 500 to 1,000 rounds during these regular sessions.

Each year we also conduct a 10-hour block of instruction that includes a combat pistol course requiring our officers fire 850 rounds of ammunition. Because we fire our pistols so often, we conduct a regular preventative maintenance program where we replace springs and some other parts. GLOCK has great customer support, and spare parts are delivered quickly and they are inexpensive when compared to other manufacturers’ gun parts.”

Both O’Toole and Low are GLOCK-certified armorers and commented that the cost to attend the GLOCK armorer course is significantly cheaper than the factory courses of other companies. According to Low, the cost of gunsmith tools required to maintain GLOCK pistols is also a source of saving money. “I can remember having a large toolbox filled with various tools and implements that were required to maintain the pistols and revolvers previously used by the department. Even today, I have a large rolling toolbox filled with thousands of dollars worth of tools to maintain our rifles and shotguns. The GLOCK Armorer’s Disassembly Tool, which only costs a few dollars, and sometimes a common screwdriver are the only tools I need to maintain the GLOCK pistol,” says Low.

“Because GLOCK pistols are so popular, it is also cheaper for the department and individual officers to purchase accessories like holsters and magazine pouches,” added O’Toole. Both agree that GLOCK pistols are an excellent choice for a police duty weapon based on the brand’s proven accuracy, dependability, simplicity of use and affordability.

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