The New York Police Department (NYPD) said its goodbyes to a long-trusted ally in the fight against crime.
The force has officially retired the .38 caliber revolver. The revolver was a favorite amongst the NYPD and around 1/5th of the NYPD still carried the revolver as their duty weapon. While the firearm was partially retired back in 1993, some officers were still allowed to use one.
“In 1993 the New York Police Department switched from the trusty six-shooter to the semi-automatic 9mm. There was a fierce debate about the change between Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.
Kelley wanted to keep the revolvers fearing the higher capacity handguns would be a danger to bystanders. Eventually, Mayor David Dinkins, who initially supported Kelley, overruled the Police Commissioner and he ordered the NYPD issue all new officers and 9mm semi-automatics such as a Glock 19, a Smith & Wesson semi-automatic 9mm, or a Sig Saur. Officers that were carrying the revolvers could trade them in or keep the six-shooter as their duty weapon.
Currently, 27 to150 NYPD officers still carry revolvers depending on the source consulted, but they have now been ordered to turn them in by August 31st of this year. Talking to several officers, they believe it is time to for a full switch. They also think that the officers that do carry the revolvers do so out of tradition more than a fear of a malfunction.”
As the remaining officers make the transition from revolvers to semi-automatic pistols, it will no doubt be the end of an era at the NYPD.