SAPOL conducted a field trial during 2008 in which 502 operational country and metropolitan police officers received training in the safe handling and use of the M&P pistol and carried the firearm in an operational environment. Deputy Police Commissioner Gary Burns, said, “Feedback from our officers was very positive and they welcome the introduction of the semi-automatic M&P40. The M&P40 has a number of enhanced features and is a good fit for policing purposes in South Australia. It will replace the Smith & Wesson .357 revolver which was previously standard issue.”
SAPOL joins a growing number of police departments across the globe where the M&P pistol is currently standard issue. Those include Trinidad and Tobago Police Services, Sindh Police Agency in Pakistan, Halton Regional Police Service in Canada, Nuclear Security Agency in France, United Nations Security Force in the Netherlands, the Ministry of Interior (MOI) Agencies in Italy, Mexico, and Thailand, as well as Atlanta Police Department, Charlotte Police Department, Syracuse Police Department and numerous additional law enforcement and security divisions across the United States.
Acting Police Minister for the Government of South Australia, Michael Atkinson, said, “We’re always striving to equip our officers with the most up-to-date crime fighting gear available and I am pleased that the trial of these firearms was such a success. The new M&P40 pistols will be rolled out to officers in the near future. This Government is serious about ensuring our police have state-of-the-art equipment to carry out their day to day duties and this latest announcement is certainly another step forward.”
Officials at the agency indicated that in addition to delivering a higher magazine capacity than the previously issued revolvers, the M&P40 excelled in several key performance areas. The M&P40 was acknowledged to possess superior safety features, including a mechanism that prevents the pistol from firing if dropped and a sear release lever that eliminates the need to press the trigger in order to disassemble the firearm.
Engineered to become the handgun of choice for global law enforcement and military personnel, the M&P pistol design is based on input from numerous law enforcement and military organizations. Manufactured with a Zytel® polymer frame reinforced with a rigid stainless steel chassis and a through-hardened black Melonite® finished stainless steel barrel and slide for added durability, the M&P pistol benefits from enhanced shootability along with a reduction in felt recoil. Other standard features of the M&P pistol include three interchangeable grips sizes; an ambidextrous slide stop; a reversible magazine release and a loaded chamber indicator located on the top of the slide. The M&P40 pistol features a 15+1 round capacity magazine. Each M&P pistol comes standard with the Smith & Wesson lifetime service policy. The M&P pistol series is available in 9mm, .40S&W, .357SIG, and .45ACP calibers. Compact versions of the M&P pistol are also available for concealed carry and back-up use.
Leland Nichols, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Smith & Wesson Corp., said, “As a long-time customer of Smith & Wesson, SAPOL has employed Smith & Wesson revolvers in the line of duty for many years. We are proud to continue to partner with SAPOL, and we are pleased to add them to the growing list of international law enforcement agencies and security divisions that have purchased M&P Series pistols for duty use.”