New Handguns May Lift Police Morale

CPD requiring officers to use only the "most modern" weapons

As the Chicago Police Department gears up to begin surveying its officers regarding department morale, a new and separate edict has come down from above.

Officers received orders Monday to use only the "most modern" handguns available from this point forward, although officers who are currently using older semi-automatic weapons will be allowed to keep and use those, per a grandfather clause in the recent decree.

"This new order works toward streamlining the kinds of firearms in use, and will lead to more effective and consistent training," Superintendent Jody Weis said in a release issued by the department Monday.

"As we modernize our duty pistol standards, the guns (officers) will be carrying in the future are safer and easier to teach for accuracy," he added.

The guns in the approved category include "striker fire" guns made by Glock, Smith and Wesson, and Springfield Arms.

Police officials on Monday also said the are hoping to gauge how officers are handling work issues, through a voluntary morale and stress study this summer.

The survey, which will be available to officers online in mid-June, will be “completely anonymous,” with results expected later in the summer.

“We want to provide the best workplace environment for our employees,” Weis said in a statement. “That is why we are interested in the experiences of our Department members and how they are affected by everyday work issues.”

The department is working with the University of Illinois at Chicago in ensuring anonymity for those taking the survey the release said. The college’s Web site will host the survey and the school will not allow the department to link responses to any specific officers.

“We encourage everyone to fill out the survey in an open and honest manner,” Weis said.

Last week, the deparment said it'll be looking at officers' attitudes and professionalism beginning the first of the year.

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