Edmonton police plan to spend $3.6M on new Glocks and Tasers

The Edmonton Police Service is seeking city council approval to spend $1.6 million on new pistols and $2 million on Tasers over the next five years.

The money will be budgeted over next five years to replace aging weapons

The Glock .40-calibre pistol, left, will be replaced by the 9-mm Glock Gen5. (Glock )

Edmonton police plan to spend $3.6 million over the next five years on new Glocks and Tasers. 

The officer in charge of the Edmonton Police Service professional development branch called the replacement weapons a necessary expense. 

"Really, it is something we have to do," Insp. Trevor Hermanutz told CBC News on Wednesday. "We want to do it as well, but it's more of a have-to than a want-to."

Details of the planned sole-source purchases are outlined in two reports prepared for the city's community and public services committee.

Under a city bylaw, council must approve sole-source contracts over $500,000.

Hermanutz said the Glock .40-calibre pistols officers currently use have a recommended lifespan of 10 years, and most are older than that.  

"There are about 200 of them that are still within their lifespan, but being that we're going to replace the majority of them, we're going to replace them all," Hermanutz said.

The police service will move to a 9-mm Glock instead. Because the 9-mm has less recoil, it allows for greater accuracy, according to the report.

'It's not cheap'

Hermanutz said the $1.6 million spent on the new pistols over the next five years will come from the existing EPS budget. 

"It's an expense that we anticipated," he said. "It's not cheap, that's for sure, because we have close to 1,800 members."

Only one company is authorized to sell Glock pistols in Canada and EPS plans to enter into a long-term agreement with that company to buy replacement pistols, sights and magazines.

The old Glocks will be destroyed, Hermanutz said.

"My understanding is they get ground," he said. "So they don't go anywhere, they get literally ground up. So they can't be used or sold or found anywhere else."

Tasers past recommended lifespan 

The police service has about 600 Tasers, enough for about one-third of its officers, Hermanutz said.

The Taser X26 models are past their lifespan. In 2017, the decision was made to move to the Taser X2, which is described in the report as "the most recent and technologically advanced" conducted-energy weapon.

It is the only brand approved by the Alberta government for use by police forces in the province.

The proposed plan is to replace 20 per cent of the inventory annually for the next five years, at a total cost of $2 million, which will come from the existing EPS budget. 

"With these weapons, it's a five-year recommended replacement, and that's what we're doing to make sure we stay on that track to replace them when they're supposed to be," Hermanutz said. 

There is only one dealer authorized to sell the Taser X2 in Canada.

The city committee is expected to discuss the matter next Wednesday.