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Old April 23, 2011, 04:25 PM   #56
Terry A
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 27, 2008
Location: Washington, Pa
Posts: 757
The guys who want to get extra training thru schools, classes or lots of practice off duty are only a small percentage of the officers I know. Most only shoot during yearly qualifications, at fixed paper targets, at the same distances in the same stance year after year. The also shoot in the same cadence each time, with ample time limits to adhere to.

Now, for the officers who join a SWAT or CERT team, the training is pretty intensive & goes into a lot more detail. We've had classes & joint training with military units, other police departments & in addition to lots & lots of shooting, you get more realistic scenarios such as in shoot houses or FATS training. We've had week long 40 hour courses that used simunitions along with our tactical gear. Different scenarios are run constantly thru the whole week. Flash-bangs, OC spray, rough handcuffing tecniques, timed mile & a half runs, agility & strength testing, proper weapon maintainance, etc, etc. And the actual tactical instruction is very in depth. There are some very sharp & qualified instructors who have a real passion for teaching the finer points needed to survive armed encounters. The officers who avail themselves to this type training benefit greatly and have a huge advantage over those officers who are content with their once a year qualifications.

One problem that many good officers face is having a Chief who is into what's called "Community Policing" or who is not themself aggressive by nature. Back in the day, our police chief would not allow us to wear black uniforms because he said they "looked too intimidating". I told him that that's a good thing but he said to get out of his office! The best Chief's are the ones who were actually working the streets & progressed upwards, rather then someone who was a professor of criminolgy somewhere and was appointed by politics to the position of "Chief". I had another Chief who was into guns & would approve all kinds of training. Getting extra ammo to practice with was always ok'ed. So a lot of what training the officer gets is dictated by that officer's Chief. The same Chief who wouldn't allow us to wear all black uniforms also put out an order that if there were a school shooting at one of the 4 schools we covered, we were forbidden to enter the school until at least 3 officers arrived. It took a while & a lot of "diplomacy" but we finally convinced him that order needed rescinded.

One more thing I'd like to add here. From what I've seen, the best trained officers who also really enjoy what they're doing don't get rattled like the average officer who shoots once a year & has not had the extra training. All the extra time & effort that's put into aquiring these skills builds a lot of confidence in those who have prepared themselves. They're less likely to panic & make mistakes. The more training the better the chances are of successfully resolving an incident. And the MOST successful way any incident can be resolved is with no deaths. Proper & intensive training will help prevent deaths on both sides of the officers weapon.
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