Virginia State Police get military-style weapons---WHY?

Submitted by PD on 01/19/2003. ( )


Virginia State Police get military-style weapons

RICHMOND -- The state police are upgrading their firepower with military-style semiautomatic rifles that will be issued to each trooper and field supervisor.

``September 11 caused us to rethink a lot about how we police Virginia,'' said Col. Gerald Massengill, superintendent of the Virginia State Police. ``Certainly when we saw state troopers at locations at airports, the Pentagon, nuclear power plants and bridge-tunnels as the result of the attacks ... we started looking at appropriate weapons.''

The state police are buying the semiautomatic version of the military M-4 automatic carbine used by American special operations personnel in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Semiautomatic fire is more accurate than automatic fire, said Sgt. David Cole of the state police firearms unit. The semiautomatic version of the M-4, a compact derivative of the M-16, also costs less than the automatic version, he said.

State troopers are now equipped with .357-caliber semiautomatic handguns, as well as 12-gauge pump-action shotguns carried in the trunks of their patrol cruisers.

The M-4 ``expands the capabilities in that it will allow our troopers to address threats'' far beyond the range of sidearms or shotguns, Massengill said.

The rifle gives troopers the capability of ``stopping a bomber before he is a threat to a (power) plant'' or any other target, Cole said Thursday. He said he knew of no other police agency that equips its patrol officers with as much firepower as the Virginia State Police.

About 1,500 M-4s are being purchased from Colt's Manufacturing Co. in Hartford, Conn., for about $1.3 million in anti-terrorism money provided by the federal government, Massengill said. That comes to $867 per rifle.

``It's a fantastic weapon,'' said Cole, who has fired it. ``It's very accurate. It's easy and lightweight to handle. I fired old M-16s in the military and this is so much better. ``

Senior Trooper G.A. Crawley agreed. ``This is the first time I've handled this,'' he told Cole as he cradled the weapon. ``This is light.''

The M-4 weighs 5.6 pounds and is 33 inches long. It has a retractable stock that shortens it to 29.8 inches. Like the M-16, the M-4 fires .223-caliber bullets.

Cole said the state police will use two 20-round quick-switch magazines attached to the weapon's magazine well. Two fully loaded magazines will increase the rifle's weight to about 7 pounds.

Massengill said the M-4s should arrive in several weeks. ``There will be intense training to go with these firearms,'' he said, with training at Fort Pickett expected to be completed by early fall.

Massengill said the state police also are buying new gas masks for troopers, replacing an older version that is no longer approved by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

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This response submitted by migda's taxidermy on 01/19/2003. ( )

PD....Im not the sharpest tack in the box for sure...but what the hell does that have to do with taxidermist?

Our police have long been undergunned.

This response submitted by BobB on 01/19/2003. ( )

Until you have the balls to face down a wacko armed with a AK7, with just your S&W 686 .357 go stick your head in a toilet. These brave guys and gals deserve every advantage they can get nowadays.

I spent three years working for a chickin crap, not letting us carry night sticks, mace or tazers as he was afraid of being sued. PS like you he did not leave the security of his office/desk - well other than for photo-ops

Its been my feeling forf years our police and fireman

This response submitted by John C on 01/19/2003. ( )

Should be carrying high powered weapons years ago. When they go out on a drug bust they should have superior fire power! You dont take a knife to a gun fight!

While many people with the lack of training cannot shoot a rifle with three round burst, the burst sear was desighned with just that in mind. Its every easy to fire the M16A2 is burst mode and kill multiple targets at ranges of 400 meters. But youcanot expect someone to this without training. The same can be siad for full auto-machine guns.

Even the UZI can be a very effective short range weapon, but again you need to train with it.

I dont see a problem?

Armed cops

This response submitted by Bundy on 01/19/2003. ( )

I know lets give the cops rocket launchers, gernade launchers, .50 cal machine guns, lazers, fazers, tazers, and all of that other stuff they have on star trec. Hell lets give them nukes that can be shot out of a rifle. That should make thing very entertaining for the masses. OOO how about self guided anti personal wepons, equiped with every kind of toxic gas know to man kind. All in the same bullet. Now this is going to make a great "Reality" show. I know I am going to watch. Instead of squad cars give them an Abrams tank. Too much then how about a Bradley fighting vehicle. With quad 50's on top. Don't you think they will need anti air wepons also.

does anybody recall

This response submitted by michael sestak on 01/19/2003. ( )

the shoot out in florida where 5 fbi agents were killed because of two gunmen who had superior firepower, these two nuts would walk up and shoot first then take the money, they were killers plain and simple.
did anybody see the video of the bank robbers in california who were dressed in full body armor and carrying full automatic assault weapons, they were walking down the street shooting at police and anyone else, they were being shot and just standing there returning fire.
until the s.w.a.t. units arrived with equal firepower, even then they had a tough time putting and end to this horrific situation.
my opinion, give the police all the firepower they can handle, and if a bad guy complains that he's outgunned...he can always surrender.
when was the last time the bad guy let a cop live if the cop ran out of ammo first, its just to bad the cop cant give the same consideration to the bad guy.....

I dont understand

This response submitted by earl on 01/20/2003. ( )

Whats wrong with the police being properly armed? Unless your worried about the gov taking over the land. Well, they wont use our police force. They are going to use the thousands of (EX?) communist soldiers that we constantly train here in America, as they have no ties with us. Then there are the martians, but if I say anymore they wi


This response submitted by jeremy on 01/21/2003. ( )

its only barbarians that think its the brute force of ones oponent as a limiting factor in any engagement (the moral of this is dont give the cops any reasont to shoot you with their new m14's)
if you must, fight them with lawyers not guns

although missed rounds could be a problem with this weapon but hell, who cares about the man women or child in the wrong place at the wrong time, as long as they get the bad guy

and we all know this has nothing to do with terrorists because a kight stick can stop a box cutter.

are you a bad guy PD


This response submitted by michael sestak on 01/22/2003. ( )

i dont agree, the police should not have to use lesser force.
if you shoot at a cop, you deserve to get shot at in return and if you get hit, thats to damn bad.
if you set a house on fire on purpose, you deserve to get caught in your own creation to see what it feels like to be a fireman who does this day after day. and if you dont get out, thats to damn bad.
when are we going to quit being a nation of criminal huggers.

Police firepower

This response submitted by Nathan on 10/14/2003. ( )

The police forces in this country have one hell of a time. We have the second ammendment, we the private citizens are alowed to have deadly wepons. Now the criminals would have them no matter if they were legal or not, hell just look at England. But we do have that right, so why should the cops have to suffer. I say give them what they feel is needed to do their jobs and train them properly, so we don't kill the little kid crossing the street. The bad guys are always going to have high powered wepons, body armor, etc...And so should the police. Let those men and women of the police force do their jobs and keep those of us who obey the laws safe. I'm sure none of you would be bitching about the wepons, when the guy using one, saved your life.

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