Hawthorne police officers will soon begin using 9-millimeter Berettas, switching from the .38-caliber handguns they use now.
The City Council approved the purchase of 110 new handguns and ammunition.
The new guns are expected to be placed in service in 30 to 60 days.
Police Chief Kenneth Stonebraker said the switch was made primarily because the new guns carry more rounds and are quicker to reload. The Beretta carries 15 rounds and can be reloaded with a magazine of 14 bullets. The current Smith & Wesson .38-caliber handguns have a maximum load of six bullets and must be reloaded individually.
The Los Angeles Police Department switched to Berettas in January, and Redondo Beach police began using them last fall. The Gardena Police Department has also ordered Berettas and is expected to have them available for use in 30 to 60 days.