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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.

State Duty

GLOCK pistols also serve with state-level law enforcement agencies in North Carolina. One of these agencies is the North Carolina State Capitol Police, which uses the GLOCK 21 chambered in .45 Auto. The principal task of the Capitol Police is to provide a safe and secure environment for public officials, state employees and visitors within the North Carolina State Government Complex and at state-owned properties throughout their jurisdiction. Capitol Police officers also protect state property and revenue as part of their mission.

At any given time, Capitol Police officers carry out roving foot patrols at various locations within the State Government Complex. While conducting roving foot patrols, officers interact with state employees, visitors to the complex and other local citizens. Such interaction has proven to be beneficial in supporting a greater level of community relations and involvement. Other officers utilized bicycles as they patrol the capitol. While on bicycle, officers can quickly move to answer calls for service and to assist those on foot patrol. Patrol officers use marked patrol cars to assist officers assigned to various facilities throughout the complex and are also responsible for enforcing traffic laws and investigating motor vehicle collisions.

The Criminal Investigations Unit is the investigative and special operations unit of the Capitol Police. CIU personnel are responsible for conducting investigations of serious crimes, internal affairs matters and other unusual occurrences. During the course of some criminal investigations, they perform surveillance operations to prevent crimes and apprehend criminals. A Civil Disturbance Team comprised of specially equipped and trained officers have the specific mission of performing crowd management operations during demonstration events and rallies conducted on capitol grounds. The CIU operates an Explosives Detection Canine Team as well. Canines and their handlers respond to bomb threats, perform area sweeps for special events, and investigate suspicious packages and terrorist threats.

GLOCK on Campus

GLOCK pistols serve with a number of campus police departments of both private and state-operated universities. North Carolina takes great pride as being the home of the first public university in the United States. Since being first established in 1789, the University of North Carolina has evolved into a system of 17 universities spread across the state. In 2010, the University of North Carolina System had a combined enrollment of 221,727 students. In order to promote a safe and secure environment for learning, each of the schools has its own police department. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) Police Department is one example.

UNCG police officers provide proactive, professional law enforcement services to the community in support of the university’s mission. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro was founded in 1891 and has been an important part of the state’s education system ever since. Today, UNCG offers over 150 graduate and undergraduate programs and in 2010 had an enrollment of 18,771 students. The UNCG campus lies in the heart of the densely populated Greensboro metropolitan area. As a result, the UNCG beat can be a challenging one. Because of this and other security issues, the UNCG Police was one of the first university police departments in the country to establish a tactical team.

UNCG Police Chief Jamie Herring says that his department has been very satisfied with their GLOCK pistols. In August 2011, the department began training and qualifying with new pistols that are replacing the department’s older GLOCK 23 pistols. Regular patrol officers are now issued brand new GLOCK 17 Gen4 pistols. Gen4 pistols have several enhancements that make them attractive to police departments. The GLOCK 17 Gen4 pistols feature the multiple back strap frames with reduced, short frame trigger mechanism housings. The multiple back strap system allows users to change the circumference of the grip to fit their individual hand size. The grip has three options: a short, medium or large back strap that can easily be changed and secured with a single pin.

UNCG Police officers assigned to the department’s Emergency Response Team are now issued the GLOCK 34. Obtaining the greatest accuracy for target engagement was the reason that GLOCK developed the GLOCK 34. This model offers an extended-length barrel, greater slide dimensions and a longer sight radius. This highly accurate pistol has found widespread use as a competitive pistol for target match shooting and among many of the world’s elite police special operations teams. To sharpen their tactical skills, UNCG Police officers conduct realistic training scenarios using GLOCK 17T training pistols. GLOCK 17T training pistols fire color-marking projectiles and are an invaluable training tool. A blue-colored pistol frame distinguishes the GLOCK training pistol from a real GLOCK pistol. The magazine floorplate is also blue in color so that it can’t be confused with a regular magazine.

These are just a few examples of the many agencies that use GLOCK pistols across North Carolina. No matter if the job is patrol, SWAT, protecting students on campus or protecting the seat of government, GLOCK is the choice of professionals.

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