The Providence (R.I.) Police Department has adopted Smith & Wesson's M&P40 semi-automatic pistol as the issued duty weapon officers, the company has announced.

The department has received 510 of the pistols chambered in .40 S&W and has begun transitioning its officers to the new sidearm.

During testing and evaluation, the Providence PD reported that the M&P polymer pistols received high marks on officer evaluation forms for ergonomics, operating controls, and reliability. The M&P pistol was also noted for its ambidextrous controls and the ability to customize the grip size of the pistol to meet each officer's requirements. Smith & Wesson is also providing the agency with armory training and technical support.

Throughout the nine police districts in Providence, the M&P40 will be used in a wide range of applications and will be carried by both uniform and plainclothes officers. With its lightweight Zytel polymer frame and black Melonite finish, officers can carry the pistol both comfortably and discreetly.

Additional features of the M&P pistol include an accessory rail for tactical lights and lasers, a M&P Tactical rear sight with Trijicon tritium night sights, a reversible magazine catch, a contoured front slide for easy re-holstering, an enlarged trigger guard designed to accommodate gloves, a striker-fired action, and a sear deactivation lever that enables the firearm to be disassembled without pulling the trigger.

"We are pleased to be able to provide the men and women of the Providence Police Department with an upgraded service pistol," according to James Debney, Smith & Wesson's president of firearms. "The consistent performance and reliability of the M&P40 is backed by a number of advanced features that are unique only to the M&P series."

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