When you look around at law enforcement officers and notice what they are carrying, you spot a lot of SIGs, Glocks, Smith and Wessons, and the occasional Ruger. With the Springfield XD being such a popular, effective, and well-made modern handgun, you would expect to see more of them in the holsters of the men and women of the Thin Blue Line. Currently, XDs are a minority in law enforcement circles and we went looking to see why that is. Here is what we found out.
(photo by PoliceMag)
The XD series and the XD(M) in particular are seeing an increase in adoption across the country by law enforcement officers and are being well covered in police professional journals. Several agencies have adopted XD pistols including the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal police, responsible for over 4200-square miles of territory, Beverly Hills PD, rural Cleveland PD in the Mississippi delta, the University of Alabama campus police, and the USDA's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service agents along the Mexican border.
In short, one of the primary reason that more agencies carry Glocks, SIGs, and Smith's than XDs is that their parent companies market special law enforcement pricing as an incentive to adopt their firearms. Springfield as a company gears itself more towards the commercial market (where it makes 90% of its sales) whereas the aforementioned generally put military and law enforcement sales as a priority. Glock is one of the largest players in the police handgun market because of their "Blue Label" program where law enforcement officers can pick up a new Glock for personal use with three mags for about $400. Departmental pricing for Glocks are even cheaper. The company is well known for providing low cost guns (sometimes even free of charge) to agencies large and small. Swiss-designed but US-built SIG does the same type of marketing as well with similar end-results.
Another factor that SIG, Glock, and others have in their favor with large group buys is their armorer program where they train (for a nominal fee) over the course of 2-3 days, an officer or instructor from the agency to repair broken guns in house. Springfield, even if a department buys hundreds of guns, still has the agency ship any broken weapons back to the company for repair.
Approved, but not issued
Many departments across the country provide the officer, deputy, or peace officer only a badge and set of uniforms, which all have to be returned. In these departments, it is up to the individual to purchase their own equipment, including sidearm, from an approved list. For agencies that issue a standardized firearm, many allow substitutions to be made from a similar list.
These approved lists find XDs creeping into law enforcement use the most. According to Springfield's law enforcement coordinator, the XD is on the approved list for more than 2000 different US law enforcement agencies. For perspective, there are more than 17,000 law enforcement agencies in the country. Some of the big names on this list that approve of the XD include Chicago PD , San Diego PD, Mesa PD, Las Vegas Metro, Oklahoma City PD and the Jefferson County Sheriff's department. The XD has passed firing, safety, and drop tests and is certified for sale in California by the Department of Justice, which allows its adoption by agencies across the great Bear Republic. Springfield provides special law enforcement pricing so check with your Springfield Armory Authorized Law Enforcement Dealer or call customer service.
So from the bicycle-borne cops of Beverly Hills, to the Tribal Police walking the beat in the heart of the Sioux Nation, to the Las Vegas Metro cop, Springfields are out there...and they are multiplying.