Smith and Wesson has always been a mainstay in the police sidearm market. Smith and Wesson’s latest pistol series, the Military and Police (M&P), has become wildly popular with officers and citizens alike. To date, more than 330 police departments have issued the M&P pistol as the standard handgun in 9mm, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP. The newest department to adopt the M&P is the Worcester, MA Police Department.
Smith & Wesson announced that it has shipped an order for 500 of the company’s M&P45 pistols to the Worcester, Massachusetts Police Department (PD). The M&P45 will be issued to each officer in the department to replace non-Smith & Wesson pistols that previously served as Worcester PD’s primary duty firearm.
Officials at the Worcester PD indicated that they selected the M&P45 because of its unique design features, modularity and reliability during testing. After a standard testing and evaluation period, Worcester PD officials noted the accuracy of the M&P45 pistol and the ability of each officer to select the grip size of his or her preference.
Gary J. Gemme, Chief of Police for the Worcester PD, said, “During our selection process, we tested a variety of firearms from numerous manufacturers. From the beginning, it was decided that a pistol chambered in .45ACP was the preferred choice. The M&P45 supplied our officers with the best combination of features to suit our duty needs while being chambered in the more powerful .45ACP cartridge. The pistol performed well throughout the testing process in both accuracy and reliability and the pistol’s interchangeable grip sizes allowed for a custom fit to each officer’s hand size. Through our relationship with Smith & Wesson, we are able to provide our officers with the tools necessary to complete their jobs while working to enhance the safety of our police force and community.”
Worcester PD joins a growing list of police agencies near Smith & Wesson headquarters that have selected firearms from the M&P Series for duty use. Other agencies in the Massachusetts area that have converted to the M&P pistol include:
- Brookline Police Department;
- West Springfield Police Department;
- Agawam Police Department;
- Swampscott Police Department;
- Winthrop Police Department;
- Sharon Police Department;
- Palmer Police Department and the
- Hampden County Sheriff’s Office.
In addition to these local law enforcement agencies, the M&P pistol has been previously selected as a primary duty firearm in the Waterbury, Connecticut Police Department along with the Hartford, Connecticut Police Department.
Leland Nichols, President and Chief Operating Officer of Smith & Wesson Corp. said, “Smith & Wesson is committed to serving police departments and security agencies around the globe, including those that are in our own local communities. By providing these professionals with the most current and highly specialized equipment available, we are helping them to complete their jobs in the most efficient manner while continuing to deliver on our reputation for safety and security. We look forward to working with the men and women of the Worcester PD along with all of the other law enforcement agencies that have selected firearms from the M&P line for duty use.”
Of course, the M&P popularity and adoption have not stopped there. Since I started this article, there have been additional announcements of agencies selecting the pistols for duty status.
The Raleigh (NC) Police Department upgraded their officers to the Smith and Wesson M&P45 pistols, and are adding the M&P15 rifles for their patrol officers.
S&W announced that RPD upgraded to the M&P45 from a prior generation of Smith and Wesson pistol. The M&P45 is chambered in .45 ACP, and according to Smith and Wesson, it was selected because of its ambidextrous controls and interchangable palm swell grips so the guns can be fit to all officers. More than 900 pistols were purchased.
The M&P15, Smith and Wesson’s AR-15 rifle, was selected over other manufacturers. The intial purchase was for 60 rifles, with a follow-up order of 340 at the start of Raleigh’s next fiscal year.
Also, this week S&W announced that Milwaukee PD is switching to the M&P40 also. Like Detroit, Milwaukee is converting from a non-S&W handgun to the M&P40.
Smith has delivered the first batch of pistols to Milwaukee, which have been issued, and more shipments will follow as Milwaukee converts its entire force of 2,000 officers to the M&P40.
The Detroit Police Department has adopted the Smith and Wesson M&P40 pistol as their official sidearm, and the M&P15 as their AR-15.
The adoption is a significant gain for S&W as the Detroit PD is a new customer, moving away from another brand of sidearm. The initial order is for 5,000 pistols and 350 rifles.
Three additional agencies have made the switch to the pistols: Miami Beach PD, Passaic Co. (NJ) Sheriff’s Office and the Olympia (WA) PD.
It is my understanding that Miami Beach has been carrying SIG SAUER duty pistols until now. MBPD will be carrying the M&P 40.
The Passaic County SO is replacing their Glock 23 pistols in .40 S&W with the M&P 45. I don’t know what the Olympia PD officers were carrying, but they are transitioning to the M&P 45 also.
Say what you want to about the “dark years” at Smith & Wesson, they are definitely back in the game and playing to win. Also, Smith & Wesson isn’t giving the guns away just to grab a larger portion of the market.
Note – Since this article was published, the company introduced the wildly popular line of Shield pistols. Make sure you read my review of the Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield by clicking here.