The Connecticut State Police will begin issuing SIG Sauer P220, .45-caliber pistols to new recruits, according to a release from the firearm manufacturer.

The state police signed a contract for more than 1,200 pistols that will be delivered before the end of the year.

The agency conducted independent testing of several .40- and .45-caliber handguns from a number of manufacturers, and chose the P220 due to its ergonomic design, accuracy and reliability, according to Sig Sauer.

About 1,200 troopers patrol highways and areas not covered by local police departments in Connecticut. The agency's new P220s will be delivered in time for current class of state police trooper trainees to be the first troopers to carry the new sidearms.

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