The third largest municipality in New Jersey has weighed and measured their options to replace worn out SIG 9mm pistols. The city in question is Jackson Township, located in Ocean County just an hour's car ride from the Big Apple. Their choice- the Springfield XD in .45ACP.
About Jackson Township
The first Europeans came to what is now Jackson Township back in 1665 when 25 families from Long Island moved there and set up residence. The town grew until the 1920s, when Jackson's population was about 1200, the town hired its first (part-time) police officer. This has changed over the years as the city has ballooned in size. Today the town has a full-time population of more than 55,000 and attractions such as Six Flags brings a steady stream of out-of-town visitors. In fact, the town is currently the third largest municipality in New Jersey.
As reported by local news media, the Tri-Town News, reporter Andrew Martins explains that the Township's law enforcement body is in the process of trading their old hardware 'one-for-one' to an unnamed distributor for 100 new Springfield XD pistols in hard-hitting 45ACP. The department's current armory includes 110 SIG P228/229 series handguns chambered in 9x19mm NATO. These guns, billed as being over 20-years old in some cases, would seem to be first generation models. Coupled with the SIGs will be nine worn out 12-gauge shotguns of an unknown model, a 37mm Grenade Launcher, "and a bolt-action sniper rifle that has been out of commission for a number of years."
The old SIGs are stated to be near the point of catastrophic failures and the night sites at this point are more correctly just day sights. One Captain John Siedler in the article mentions that one of the reasons the department is going with the XDs is ""The trigger distance and weight are consistent".
The Jackson Township PD
According to the department's website, as of 2011, the department is currently comprised of 79 full-time police officers including the Chief of Police, 1 Captain, 3 Lieutenants, 14 Sergeants, 6 Detectives and 54 police officers fulfilling a variety of roles within the police department. A civilian support staff that includes 10 full time telecommunicators, 4 administrative and records secretaries, and three Class II police specials that perform a variety of functions from traffic enforcement to court security assist these officers. Of these 79 above-mentioned LEOs, ten form the department's part-time Special Response Team as part of the Ocean County Regional SWAT "North Team" which consists of police officers from several municipalities throughout northern Ocean County. This group handles tactical entries, high-risk warrant arrests, hostage/standoff situations, and narcotics raids.
During 2012 the township's department responded to more than 7400 criminal incidents including 68 Terroristic Threats (New York City is just 60 miles to the north), and made over 600 arrests.
With 100 new .45ACP Springfield XD handguns equipping these men and women, the thin blue line in Jackson Township just got a little stronger.