The El Paso Police Department on Wednesday unveiled its new M-4 rifles intended to provide every officer with greater firepower.

The department bought 1,145 after approval by the City Council's 8-0 vote in January.

Training with the M-4 is under way at the Police Academy, and the new weaponry will eventually be issued to every member of the department, from patrol officers up to the chief.

"It's a safety issue," said Sgt. Lawrence Lujan, an instructor at the academy. "The El Paso Police Department is catching up with the rest of the nation."

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