View Full Version : LEO Training, Good Enough?

April 15, 2011, 08:26 PM
I will start this thread by suggesting you read the thread "Why .40 cal" over in hand guns, and then come back to this. The debate started over why LE made the switch to the .40 cal platform. I think it has allot to do with the Brass not wanting to rewrite the training books, or spend the extra time and money necessary to train LEO's to be ready for a "shoot out". All to often we read or hear on the news about a shoot out where massive amounts of rounds were fired and the suspect was either never hit or barley wounded. Is this because the LEO's were not trained properly? Or not enough? Some very good points were made, including someone pointing out that LEO's have a job to do every day and simply do not have the time to train the way our combat troops do, therefore have to take it upon themselves to train for any given situation. I think this is a huge problem facing LEO's, is it fair to ask them to serve and protect everyday and not provide them with the proper training? So, two questions to get it started,

1.) Are LEO's properly trained in hand gun proficiency, stress management under extreme conditions, and mentally prepared to deal with a shoot out?

2.) What would you suggest a department do to better prepare LEO's, so when the lead starts flying they know what to expect.

April 15, 2011, 10:50 PM
No...most if not all officers do not receive enough training. From my own experience, I fired 1200 rounds in the academy, then 60 rounds a year to qualify until one day I woke up and smelled the roses. I realized that 60 rounds a year was not enough, so I went to my chief and told him the same thing. Life was good, he sent me to and funded 3 training classes a year and provided the ammo. After 2008, budget cuts lead to my training be cut back to 60 rounds per year. I didn't care for that, so I spoke with my wife (also leo) and started traing on my own nickle. We budget for it and take to classes per year, plus whatever training (if any) our departments may provide. We look at it as an investment in our lives and we write it off on our taxes. One thing people don't realize is that not all cops are gun people. A lot of cops never shot a gun until they became a cop and dread when they do have to train with it. This makes things hard for instructors (like myself) who have to train these people. They could really care less and believe all the statistics they are quoted about gun fights and so on that they feel they are adequitly trained for such an encounter. I've got my chief doing firearms training twice a year now, but that could change if our budget gets cut again, but I'll take what I can get to better train my people reguardless if they want it or not. I know a lot of cops in the same boat as me and they are doing the same thing that my wife and I do because they want to be properly trained should the time come to need it. I read your other thread and it's just not possible to train all the time like military personell, but it is possible to get training, and practice if the person wants to. Just my take on the subject.;)

April 15, 2011, 11:30 PM
Agree'd, we do not get enough training either. My department does two shoots a year consisting of 100 rounds each time with pistol, once a year with shotgun which is 18 rounds and M4 once but we shot up most of the training ammo and there are no plans to get anymore. The "stress" course of fire is a complete joke and does not replicate an actual stressful situation.

I too train and shoot on my own dime. One of the benefits of being a police officer at a military college, there is no shortage of Special Operations guys that would gladly trade some top notch marksmanship training for some range time at a law enforcement range so they can keep up their skill set. I was a decent shot before, but my shooting improved exponentially after a few hours at the range with those guys.

Double Naught Spy
April 15, 2011, 11:30 PM
No, they do not, not as a whole. Of course, we want them to do a zillion things when dealing with people of all sorts of mind sets and walks of life and in all sorts of situations, most of which are not pleasant and to do them extremely well.

A firearm is probably one of the least used weapons of law enforcement in terms of actually using it (firing, not just drawing) in a crisis. It would be really good if at the point and time a LEO used lethal force that there not be anyone else around with near the skill set as the LEO because of having such extensive and continued training, but that just isn't going to happen.

It would be nice of regular LEOs trained as hard as SWAT officers, but who can afford it?

Taxpayers don't seem willing to pay for LEOs to have all the training necessary to make them significantly better officers, or for us to have more officers.

April 15, 2011, 11:53 PM
See this is what I was afraid of, I'm thinking there won't be one LEO out there who says they get enough training. I think it's B.S., how the hell can we expect you guys to protect the masses when your not provided the training you deserve. The fact that you have to go pay for it on your own time is ridiculous. I understand that you can't train like combat troops, but even some 9mm paint ball games once every 2 months would be better than nothing. That was one of the things that got us ready, those things hurt bad, and the sounds were real, the guns were real, and the pain was real. It was as close as we could get before shipping out.

April 16, 2011, 12:07 AM
It would be nice of regular LEOs trained as hard as SWAT officers, but who can afford it?

I was on the swat team prior to budget cuts and we trained twice a month, but it wasn't always shooting. A large department that would have a dedicated swat team would train all the time unless on a call out, but those of us in rural areas don't have that luxiary. It all boils down to budgets and department needs. If a department is involved in a lot of shootings, they'll fork out the cash for proper training, but if not, they'll spend the money where ever else it would be needed (narcotics, mentally ill persons, and so on). There is case law on a failure to train over firearms and a department was sued because they only shot once a year, but this hasn't changed the way things are done for smaller departments. Until budgets are balanced and everyone is working again, there won't be any funding for training.

April 16, 2011, 12:09 AM
A lot of it comes down to funding, simunition/real ammo and schools all cost money and there just is not a whole lot of it going around. I know pretty much every agency in California is broke and most Federal Agencies are on a hiring freeze outside of hiring money that was previously allocated or jobs are limited to internal hires.

April 16, 2011, 07:06 AM
First, a little background. I've been a cop for thirty years. Before that I was a soldier and after my soldiering stint I did the Reserve/Guard thing until I retired from Uncle Sam's employment. I've been a trainer and I've been on SWAT teams. I've heard shots fired in anger. Been there, done that.

No, cops don't get enough training, but most LEO training is bullcrap for several reasons. First, we're not training for combat. Combat involves maneuver elements, and LEO scenarios don't involve maneuver elements.. Pure and simple. LEO scenarios involve fights and in the vast majority of LEO scenarios I've seen, the student cannot win.

I get it, okay? I work daily in a high-stress environment, where any interaction can turn deadly at the blink of an eye. Yet, effective training gives the student the expectation of success. If it doesn't give that expectation, then you're training the student to fail, and that's not the purpose of effective training.

My department puts us through scenario based training every year, and the deputies routinely curse it. It's something to be endured, another check on the form. In my particular field of expertise, I did some serious mind-gaming eight years ago and came to the conclusion that A+B=C. every year during scenario training, I'd raise my hand and suggest that A+B=C, and the trainers would say no, A+B=D. Okay, I'd go through the training, knowing in my mind that it was crap. Last year, during the initial briefing, the trainers told us that they'd changed their minds, that A+B=C. I raised my hand again and reminded them that I'd been saying that for eight years, but they insisted I was wrong. Then I told them that I'd since moved on, done some more thinking about the issue and that X+Y=Z. They're still six years behind a serious student of this particular problem.

Training is only effective if several conditions are met. First, you've got to think through the training in a logical and orderly process and set certain goals and objectives. Those goals and objectives have to be easily stated and reasonably attainable. Second, you've got to communicate those goals and objectives to the student. Third, if the student meets those goals and objectives, you've got to pass the student. There can't be any surprises, there can't be any trick-plays. Any trainer that tricks his students is a prick of the rarest variety.

Most LEO scenario-based training is not designed to allow the student to win. It's designed to put the student in an unfamiliar situation and react to unrealistic conditions so that those reactions can be analyzed. Yet, those expectations are never stated.

I go into my scenario-based training every year with a sense of fatalistic dread. It's something to be endured, like a trip to the proctologist. I have no expectation of success, only of having to endure eight hours of unrealistic bullcrap, with the last hour being a "we're so great and you guys suck" analysis.

I could rant like this for hours.

April 16, 2011, 07:24 AM
how the hell can we expect you guys to protect the masses when your not provided the training you deserve.Expecting a relative 'hand-full' of officers to protect the masses is unrealistic to begin with.

I fully expect (and train for) protecting myself and family. It is fairly rare that LE actually stops a crime. Majority of the time they are there 'after the fact'.

As for training, I used to work part-time at our local FOP range. The vast majority of our local officers and deputies who shoot qualification here are like the majority of CCW holders: they aren't 'gun people'. Many cops only do it because it is a job requirement. I see weekly cops hitting the streets to protect and serve that had barely inched by the minimum score required (and quite happy with those scores).

Heck, I know cops who don't even carry a gun when off duty (or maybe only in their car). I only know of a (very) few other local CCW holders who carry 24/7 like myself and my wife do, either.

Based on my observations, I would say that even with a very high dollar training budget, there would only be a few officers who would take advantage of the ammo and training time.

April 16, 2011, 07:36 AM
The lack of training for tactics and firearms is a given. What is also needed is periodic psychological evaluation.

9 Micky Mouse
April 16, 2011, 07:55 AM
About the best trained officers that I have had the opportunity to train or observe their training have been that of LA, Dekalb Co Georgia, any officer can always go and get more training but the numbers are few and I believe it is even worst now because you have people taking these jobs because they need a job. I say this because I work for a vendor that trains police from all over the country corrections officers also.

One of my instructors will let an officer from the city and county he lives in come to his classes for free just buy their own ammo. Guest how many come.

I do believe officer associate going to the range with work so that is why they do not do it.

April 16, 2011, 08:55 AM
The problem is, you can't force training on someone. You can make them qualify, but if they aren't interested, then all the training in the world wont work.

That's the problem you have with many LO Officers, they just aren't interested and that's where we are when it comes to cops.

April 16, 2011, 09:16 AM
As a Government Agent, we trained every 6 months. Training was intense and is was over a 5 day period with limitless amounts of ammo. Each of us took home as much ammo as we could carry with the understanding it was our own responsibility to maintain our skills until the next training session. I usually went thru all the ammo in about a month's time and bought my own, deducting the expense from my income tax.

Being retired, I don't want to lose those skills. I shoot regularly with a good friend that is active LE. He, too, realizes that his Dept. does not do enough training...not that they don't want to, they just do not have the budget for it. We shoot together, train together, and we both do it on our own expense. He gets to deduct it from his income tax. And we both have the self confidence and ability to use our guns skillfully if ever a situation arises that would call for it. One of my friend's concerns is his partners lack of adequate training. He may need him to watch his back one day and the skills may not be there for the lack of frequent and adequate training due to budget cuts.

Double Naught Spy
April 16, 2011, 09:49 AM
Being retired, I don't want to lose those skills. I shoot regularly with a good friend that is active LE. He, too, realizes that his Dept. does not do enough training...not that they don't want to, they just do not have the budget for it.

The department might want more training, but chances are, most of the cops don't want to be forced to go through it. Heck, they know their lives may depend on their gun skills and far too many won't spend $25 every two months to put 50-100 rounds down range. The mindset seems to be that if the department isn't paying for it, they sure as heck won't pay for it as the department would be getting a better skilled officer at no expense to the department. They seem to fail to realize that it isn't the department that is going to benefit.

Heck, far too many officers don't bother to properly maintain their carry weapons. Of course, all this seems to hold for CCW folks as well, but to a lesser extent as they usually carry because they want to, not because somebody is forcing them.

357 Python
April 16, 2011, 10:44 AM
As a police officer and firearms instructor I can only speak of my agency. It is my opinion that we don't get enough training of any type related to law enforcement. We get what I feel is too much computer based feel good courses but little job oriented training. We are allowed a small amount of ammo for practice, familarization, and qualification (about 480 rounds per year for each officer). What extra ammo there is goes to other groups who want to get some trigger time. The other groups could easily obtain ammo from the same location we do but for some unknown reason we have to supply them with our ammo. Some agencies are lucky enough to get 1000 rounds of ammo per officer each year. In the academy the average officer shoots about 800 to 1200 rounds. Why do the same agencies think half of that is enough after the academy?

April 16, 2011, 11:10 AM
See this is what I was afraid of, I'm thinking there won't be one LEO out there who says they get enough training. I think it's B.S., how the hell can we expect you guys to protect the masses when your not provided the training you deserve. The fact that you have to go pay for it on your own time is ridiculous.

I pinned my first badge on in 1976. Franky I think it's ridiculous that many of my fellow officers lack the incentive to invest the time and money to become proficient- and by that I mean the ability to deliver a controlled burst at spitting distance, make 50 yard body hits on demand or 50 yard head shots from cover and an improvised rest. These things are attainable but nobody can just hand them to you. You have to understand the importance of zero with your duty load, the ability to hold a precise sight picture under stress, and the wherewithal to press that trigger despite the urge to shove the gun out there and yank it repeatedly. Further, you have to immerse yourself in each of your weapons until running/reloading them requires no conscious thought. And finally, you have to be able to admit that you're in a deadly force encounter and commit to pouring gunfire into another human being until they are no longer capable of being a threat to you.

While I absolutely support better firearms training for officers, throwing money at the problem won't change the individual's mindset. I have close contacts in the military who are also weapons trainers and the problem is as prevalent in the military as it is in LE. Neither organization has the training budget necessary for total immersion in a particular weapons system. There is a small percentage who understand this and who will make the necessary investment to attain it.

For others, a baptism of fire is the only thing that wakes them up.

Edited to add: I voted yes. My guys get enough training to insure combat accuracy but more importantly, they know the score and the need to become one with their weapons. All of them shoot on their own time and yes, I subsidize that effort with dept-issue ammo whenever I can.

Glenn Dee
April 16, 2011, 11:10 AM
Wow!... I am blessed.

I was fortunate to have served with a department that takes training very seriously.

Because it is a large department we had a large staff assigned to the PAFTS.
(police academy firearms tactics section) Firearms training and tactics are married. Tactics are developed, and trained for at the range. One unique thing is that range officers actually go out and operate with ESS, Narcotics, Detectives, and plain clothed units in order to devlop these tactics. Every sworn member was mandated to attend two range dates every year. During those dates Officers fired 250 hundred rounds on the outdoor cycle, and 150 rounds on the indoor. During the outdoor cycle are taught new tactics, and revewed existing ones. The indoor cycle more concentrates on shooting skills.
The department also made available for free 50 rounds per month at any department range for any member who wanted to practice.

Training is more than range time. We were provided "IN SERVICE TRAINING" for every member assigned to patrol. These sessions were one or two days long and happened every quarter. so four times a year. It was mostly classroom stuff, but every so often the class would go out to a deserted neighborhood, and train making car stops, felony stops, riot control, Felony take downs, and other hands on stuff.

In addition to the above anyone assigned to a unit that required the use of weapons other than a service pistol had at least one more day at the range. In fact a day to train with and qualify with each weapon authorized... So a man authorized for an undercover pistol, shotgun, rifle, and MP5 would get an additional 4 days at the range.

So my answer would be that IN MY EXPERIENCE yes police do recieve enough training. Having said this... It's my opinion that MOST police officers dont take full advantage of the training that is provided. And fail big time to initiate any independant training or practice. Most cops dont think anthing can or will happen to them. It's always the other guy.

Glenn D.

April 16, 2011, 11:16 AM
... it's all relative.

I shot 500 rounds in one session, two days ago; that seems to be more than the annual training for your department. Another session or two would account for your department's 50rds/month allowance.

On average, I shoot more every two to three weeks than your guys did every year.

I know of some units that shoot a lot more than that, but it's pretty rare for any government agency to cough up as much training ammo as they probably should.

April 16, 2011, 11:34 AM
I still say its an individual problem, not a department problem. Our department had a once a year "all day" qualification & training session. In addition to that we had monthly qualification requirements, we range officers would call guys off the street to qualify, of shoot pretty much as much as they wanted, extra training or what ever. It was like pulling hen's teeth to get these guys to show up.

We also gave everyone an additional box of ammo, and offered more it they wished. You'd find officers with wall lockers full of ammo that the got over the years.

Its worse in Fed LE Agencies, they have a bigger budget and get more ammo, I've had FLO give me cases of ammo they didn't want to shoot up. I get a kick out of watching some FBI guys that show up to some of our pistol matches, they can sure shoot a lot, you can tell they get the bullets, but in LE you have to account for all those bullets that MISS.

You have exceptions, you'll always find guys who will shoot every chance they get, and every bullet they can get, but they are rare.

Don't think SWAT officers are differant, I did the firearms training for our SWAT (we called them CRT), its the same thing except you have the EGO thing thrown in, "We are SWAT, we know how to shoot, you can't teach me anything".

What's the answer? Got me, I've been searching for it for over 35 years. I don't believe throwing money at it is the answer. I've see our department go from basicly nothing to a well funded firearms training budget but the results didn't reflect the money spent.

April 16, 2011, 12:35 PM
What's the answer? Attitude and mindset.

Always will be. Unfortunately, they don't issue this in Basic or the Academy.

April 16, 2011, 01:37 PM
I think the overwhelming majority of LEOs are adequately trained in the use of lethal force to perform their duties.

I am a firearms instructor for our agency. Our policy was shaped by very dedicated instructors, and is constantly evolving. Our officers are trained to meet that standard. We qualify and perform an additional course at least quarterly with our handguns. Long guns must be fired in at least two quarters per year. Additionally, there are annual requirements for night shooting, BUGs, etc.

Safety is constantly stressed. Each range session begins with a recitation of the firearms safety rules. Officers are monitored at the range for unsafe habits. Proper technique is trained. All weapons are inspected annually, and get a detailed disassembly and cleaning by a trained inspector.

We get force-on-force training at the academy, and periodically in the field (not as much as we'd like, maybe every couple of years). Money is tight, but time is the real restriction. Just staying within policy on training takes lots of effort.

The skill level of individual officers runs the gamut. A few are second-to-none, a few are pretty clueless, most are in between. All are within policy (well, mostly, most of the time...).

I think this is about the best one can reasonably ask for. As far as training resources go, I think Defensive Tactics is far more perishable and far more difficult to train, not to mention medical, driving and legal training, and those skills are used much more often than lethal force.

LEOs are only human. Violence is not pretty, and it is easy to armchair quarterback something on YouTube. Finally, even the best of us makes mistakes. In an extreme situation, there is little margin for error, and great consequences if an error is made. However, patrol officers are not going to be able to maintain levels of training achieved by selected elites, and it is not efficient to attempt it.

Going back to the original post, cops handle shootouts by calling for backup, establishing containment, and sending in the experts. It always works, in the end, and for the vast majority of incidents, this is the best course of action. Clearly, there are times when more offensive tactics would better protect life, and doctrine is evolving for active-shooter scenarios.

Anyway, this country has the most professional, honest, best trained and just law enforcement in the world, given the level of violence in the society at large. I guess the scrutiny and lawyers keep us on our toes, so it's good, but when I see a post denigrating the skills of LEOs, I think the burden of proof rests with those bringing it into doubt.

Glenn Dee
April 16, 2011, 02:03 PM

I see your point. And I believe that it's valid one. I agree the average firearms enthusiast fires probably thousands of rounds more than the average police officer. Unless of course he's a firearms enthusiast also.

You can fire live ammo during training. But firing live ammo dont equate to training. It's practice. Practice is great. As others have stated... Firearms related tasks other than training and practice takes up probably less than one percent of the average officers time. Firearms are most officers least used tool... But it's the only one that MUST be right each and every single time...

Contrary to popular belief, Police hit their intended target a heck of a lot more than they miss. But only the misses and mistakes are news so thats what we hear about.

Glenn D.

April 16, 2011, 02:21 PM
The main reason most Police Depts. do not receive enough of any kind of training is because of one thing.MONEY. You get what the Dept. can afford and if you are smart,you will practice on your own and take any kind of class that will help you out in your performance.
TV cops shoot someone every week.In 32 years I shot nobody.No shots,no misses.I handcuffed thousands,struck with a baton hundreds,and sprayed dozens.I wore out countlass holsters drawing and holstering but never had to pull the trigger.The same goes for most of the folks on my Dept.

April 16, 2011, 02:27 PM
I agree there are differences between practice and training.

I've also had training from firearms instructors from all four service branches, at one time or another. (I was Navy; served in a few Joint environments, and over the years got to qualify, re-qualify, or fam-fire on a bunch of stuff.) In training environments, got to shoot while wearing armor; while moving around barricades; while doing 4-man forced entries (not fun, and I'm pretty happy I don't do that for a living ); and on night courses of fire. Plus some full auto, and a grenade launcher.

Martial arts have been my other major hobby since the mid-90's, so I've played around a lot with weapon retention, too. Even have the blue plastic Glock, and a couple of training knives (wood and hard rubber) for those drills.

Some of the guys I shoot and work out with are LEO. They seem to think most of their co-workers don't get enough training, or practice for that matter.

I know several of them have tried to get their buddies interested in coming to the dojo or coming to the range, but there are some guys out there who just lack the interest.

April 16, 2011, 02:43 PM
I voted yes. Compared to most perps, police are far better trained. I am sure that limits in funding prevents the police from receiving as much training as they would benefit from. We should be willing to spend whatever it takes to give the police the maximum amount of training that would benefit them.

April 16, 2011, 02:49 PM
Contrary to popular belief, Police hit their intended target a heck of a lot more than they miss. But only the misses and mistakes are news so thats what we hear about.

True, the media does emphasize the mistakes and errors. However, every study and report I've seen indicates that police MISS between 60% and 70% of the shots they take (outside of training and ranges). Thats indicitive of either poor training or a lack of emphisis (and therefor training) on shooting skills. About 5 years ago, NYPD reported that over 70% of the rounds officers fired in the streets of NYC were unintended- I read this as negligent discharges.
I have little confidence in the abilities of a "trained" police officer when in comes to firearms

April 16, 2011, 03:45 PM
The way I look at it, the only good shooters are the ones who take a personal interest in it.

Single Six
April 16, 2011, 03:59 PM
Speaking for how it is at my agency, no, it's not good enough. You really can't call what we do "training". We "qualify" with our Sig P220s once a year, 50 rounds in daylight, 50 at night. This is utilizing the state-mandated course of fire that is actually geared toward revolvers, never having more than 6 rounds in an 8 round magazine. Time limits on each string of fire are way too generous. We stand square with our B-27 targets, with no emphasis on seeking cover, starting at the 3 yard line and working back to the 25 [only in daylight, at night we only go back as far as 15 yards]. I almost always score 100%, but I don't pat myself on the back...anyone with a modest amount of skill could easily do likewise.

April 16, 2011, 04:04 PM
I have no experience in le, but in combat most of the shots taken by the marines I served with were not hits. When it comes down to it, no amount of training can make you steady your nerves, if you ain't cut out for it. Most men just aren't able to shoot straight when the other guy is shooting in their direction, myself included. Someone comes into my place that doesn't belong; I ain't waiting for them to start shooting. I know once that happens I am gonna hit the deck, better to shoot first.

Single Six
April 16, 2011, 04:38 PM
As far as what could be done to alleviate it..our respective agencies should maybe send us all to Blackwater [or whatever they call themselves now]. Or Thunder Ranch. Or Gunsite. Or, since we all know that will never happen, maybe have some of their personnel come and give us a few days of instruction....and, as long as I'm engaging in hopeless fantasy, I'd also like a bright red Lamborghini. :rolleyes:

April 16, 2011, 07:00 PM
All good insight. I just want to be clear that I was in no way bashing LEO's or Government Agents. I just thought it would be interesting to hear it from the source, and it has been. I'll agree that mindset and attitude play a big role in how effective training can be. When we trained there were always those soldiers who didn't want to be there, and they were rotated out of the platoon pretty quickly, so we were left with a good group of high speed guys who wanted to do nothing but train. I guess I was lucky, scratch that, I know I was lucky.

April 17, 2011, 08:57 AM
In my earlier post, I made the statement:I fully expect (and train for) protecting myself and family.I am very willing to pay from my own pocket to take private classes.

The courses I have taken over the last few years average 20 or so students per class. Usually only 1-2 will be LE and 1-2 will be Military. The rest are always Joe Citizen like myself.

Things like groceries, car repair, dental bills get in the way of many taking private classes, but you can save up for the things you really want. Most will opt for a boat or ATV over training classes.

April 17, 2011, 09:24 AM
I think that LEOs can be divided into two groups (I’ll discuss the Brass in a minute). One group of LEOs are very concerned about officer survival and will religiously train, whether on their own or through a combination of others (department, other departments, reading, practicing, etc.). The other group is just plain lazy and thinks that if my department wants me to shoot better, or save a life, they need to train me more than 4 times a year. This group will not shoot on their off-time and most probably will not own any other guns.

Brass, on the other hand, only cares about the bottom dollar of their budget. I was in a department that shot 4 times a year. I spent a lot of time and money to better educate myself and my familiarization with firearms and tactics. When I became a Firearms Instructor, DT Instructor and Officer Survival Instructor, I finally was able to change the program course and the time and quality of our shoots. We were mandated to shoot 4 times a year. I used this time to first qualify all, and then I set up tactical courses with instruction on officer survival. I worked simunitions, RedMan, etc. in these classes, and about ½ of the officers wanted to stay and learn more. Others bitterly complained about having to clean their gun, wanting to go elsewhere, etc. Gradually, through some innovation and “fun” exercises, was I able to get more and more officers to stay and shoot. I worked the firearms training up to 6-8 times a year.

To train LEOs better, you need qualified leaders at the top, making sound and realistic decisions about the officer survival training. This includes DT, Firearms, EVOC, etc. You need to train officers in realistic situations, so they react under stress EXACTLY as they have been trained. Standing on a firing line and waiting for the whistle to blow and putting two rounds in the paper target and re-holstering fast is NOT realistic training. This just gets more officers killed or wounded.:mad:

April 17, 2011, 09:36 AM
it ain't the brass; it is the system they are forced to make work as best as they can. In the service we always looked to blame the 'brass' for all the stupid things we saw, but after a time I came to see that they were more frustrated by the sytem then we were and even if few of them were in the field, most had been there.

Glenn Dee
April 17, 2011, 10:52 AM
Morning Gents...

Mad Hatter...
being an NYPD alumnus I'm thinking you may have misread those stats. 70% of all shots fired in the street are N/D's? Ummm If thats true they all may as well pack up and go home. First off... during the time period you present the NYPD had about fourty thousand gun toting sworn members. If they fired 10 shots in the street amongst them 7 of them were n/d's? I'm going to have to look into that stat... I just cant see it. I could see 70% misses on a bad day.... but N/D's?.. I dont know.
More on this later.

April 17, 2011, 10:54 AM
They was warning shots Glenn. LOL

April 17, 2011, 11:03 AM
Big Dog, I agree with you to an extent, and also agree with you Nero, to an extent:) As I said I was lucky, I was blessed with the best chain of command a soldier could ask for, from the buck E-5 all the way to Capitan. I can't say the same for the other platoons in the company, but that proves both points. My noncoms and officers were all very well trained, and had the "I won't ask one of my soldiers to take a bunker without beating him to it" attitude. OTOH, the other platoons weren't so lucky. 90% of their leadership was completely worthless. Because of that those platoons suffered. I hate tootin the horn but my platoon was the best in the battalion, and it was because of good leaders. So I do think that good brass would make better cops, but also think that no matter where you go there will always be those in charge who don't give a damn.

Double Naught Spy
April 17, 2011, 11:53 AM
True, the media does emphasize the mistakes and errors. However, every study and report I've seen indicates that police MISS between 60% and 70% of the shots they take (outside of training and ranges). Thats indicitive of either poor training or a lack of emphisis (and therefor training) on shooting skills. About 5 years ago, NYPD reported that over 70% of the rounds officers fired in the streets of NYC were unintended- I read this as negligent discharges.

NYPD did not have 70% of their shots fired on the streets as unintended or negligent discharges. You either misread, misunderstood, or the person who conveying the information presented it incorrectly.

As for 60-70% missing, that is true. But what counts as a miss? A miss is anything that doesn't hit the perp. Here is an officer who missed something like 14 or 15 times, landing only one hit. Poorly trained and a poor shot? Not necessarily. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tBFXLNR2kI

The police need to do better, but number of shots fired versus impacts on the suspect is not always an indicator of how well they did. Sometimes your shots just aren't going through the barricade. Sometimes the shots aren't even meant for the suspect.

LAPD fired something like 600-800 rounds during the North Hollywood bank robbery. Poorly trained and poor shots? Mostly, no, just not trained for that sort of long range engagement.

Lubbock SWAT, sniper shoots two of his own officers, killing one, resulting in both teams present at scene to open up on the barricaded occupant who was hiding inside (in a closet as I recall), striking him once, never having seen him during the shooting, resulting in radio calls for more ammo to be brought to the scen after close to 400 rounds were expended. They had less than a 1% hit rate of which one shot struck two of their own and 1 shot hit the suspect who never fired at them. Poor shooting? Abysmal.

April 17, 2011, 02:32 PM
The spectrum of police agencies is so wide, it's impossible to say yes or no.
My (Federal) agency required 4 shoots a year, at least one at night. Shot the qual course and a tactical problem each time.
We could have a shotgun, rifle, or both. 50 rnds per month if you wanted them. If you did not qualify, you lost your take home car. If you could not re mediate to qual, you lost your job!
Many of my co-workers were 'gun buffs', who also shot on their own time and dime.

Another agency in the Treasury Dept required their agents to get supervisor approval to take a handgun out of the office safe!

I saw a local SWAT team shoot where one member emptied 5 (repeat 5) Glock 9mm mags and still had not hit all 8, 8" plates, the furthest at 20 yards.

Most state mandated qual courses train on the wrong things (too long time limits, too many rounds from too far away), so everyone can ""qualify"".

In the "new generation" of officers, many are way too 'touchy feely', not gun oriented, and think they can ""establish empathy"" with the bad guys. Many only carry guns because they have to.

And one more thing - I have proven to my satisfaction that short, frequent range sessions, as short as 50 rounds, are better than 500 rounds in one day, but infrequently. The few rounds tend to 'focus the mind!

April 17, 2011, 02:41 PM
The latest statistics from a professional LE magazine:

Hit ratio to rounds fired: 17%

80% of shootings at 7 yards or less

So, the need to make 50 yard shots is minimal. Close, fast, at bad breath distance is where we need to train!

April 17, 2011, 03:35 PM
Spy, I don't really see that video falling into the category of a shoot out, but I guess it shows the hit/miss situation well. It made me ask more questions about this particular officers training. I realize he came very close to being shot, so he was probably scared, but why back strait up from the window? All he did was give the suspect time to line up a shot, had he stepped to his right and drew his weapon, the suspect couldn't have gotten a shot off in his direction, and he would have been in a much better position to return fire. Do they not train LEO's to take immediate cover in a situation like this? Then of course he tries to shoot the suspect as he's speeding away, I understand that, but why not shoot for the tires? 2 or 3 well placed rounds would have blown both rear tires and then they could have chased him down, he very well could have gotten away in this situation. So did lack of discipline play a part in this scenario? The LEO just got shot at, he's rightfully teed off, but is emptying a mag at a fleeing car the best thing to do? I don't think so, I think if this LEO had better training (physical and mental) he might have made some better decisions.

April 17, 2011, 03:51 PM
There were alot of shootings in the urban NE large city that had 60-70 shots fired at a suspect, but only hitting them 3-4 times. What percentage is that?

It all comes back to how you are trained. Massive amount of lead heading down range with a couple of holes on the target. And that's without stress or adrenaline running!:rolleyes:

Glenn Dee
April 17, 2011, 04:27 PM

I wasnt going to sy anything...lol

Good one...lol

April 17, 2011, 04:37 PM
Just wondering, how many people here spend time working on the very basics of shooting to the point that it is not fun anymore to build the muscle memory of proper shooting skills? There are a few guys in my department that can drive nails during a standard qual, but as soon as they are out of that comfort zone they struggle to keep it on the paper.

April 18, 2011, 01:08 AM
Moose, once again I guess I'm lucky:) I drive out to our Strausburg property every few days, and every time I do I put atleast 20 rounds down range. We have a problem with rabbits and mice in the barn, and because of them we have rattlers, so every time I go out I get to shoot at a moving bunny rabbit from 20ft away. Somtimes it takes a few shots to get him but never more than 6. I'll agree with the post that say even a few rounds down range often is better than allot more rounds once or twice a year.

April 20, 2011, 01:29 PM
Do we get enough training? Nope, not in anything, whether it's firearms, defensive tactics, pursuit/high speed driving, legal decision updates, patrol level crime scene processing, dealing with the mentally unstable and on and on.

Being firearms enthusiast, we tend to solely focus on marksmanship and that cops should all be expert shooters. The car enthusiasts tend to think our cars should all have high performance and that we have driving skills comparable to race car driver. The martial artists believe LEO should be a black belt in their dicipline. The truth is that in each of these areas law enforcement is far better than an average citizen but not on par with a specialist is those areas.

The why is simple, the citizens, through their elected representatives (city council members and mayors mostly) aren't willing to pay for all the training we should have and need. It's not just the direct cost of training (ammo, cars). It's also the extra staffing levels needed to provide service while some portion of the force is training.

Despite this, law enforcement officers are effectively dealing with lethal force encounters and prevail far more than we lose. This is despite the fact that in most instances the offender initiates the action and the officer reacts to it. It's not about marksmanship, it's about being aware, keeping your head, being decisive, and determined when someone suddenly pulls a gun on you at close range.

April 20, 2011, 05:41 PM
I would, as a tax payer, rather have my tax dollars go to training the LEO's in my area, or on a federal level, go to training nation wide. Rather than have it go to completely unnecessary programs like planned parenthood,let me be clear, I am NOT trying to start a political debate over worthless government funded programs, I'm simply saying our taxes could be paying for better training for the LEO's that are risking their lives everyday, not paying for free condoms so tommy and jenny can skip school.

Double Naught Spy
April 21, 2011, 12:50 AM
The LEO just got shot at, he's rightfully teed off, but is emptying a mag at a fleeing car the best thing to do? I don't think so, I think if this LEO had better training (physical and mental) he might have made some better decisions.

In very few situations do the good guys make decisions in high stress incidents that are the best thing they can do. Yes, everyone could make better decisions with better training and more better training.

As for not being a shootout, shots were exchanged, it was a shootout.

Maybe you are lucky. Based on the vids I have seen of most the US military soldiers in combat, they make all sorts of mistakes on a regular basis. They are doing the best that they can, but apparently suffer from insufficiencies that undoubtedly are based in their training or lack thereof. They are woefully unprepared compared to what you refer to as having had "the time to train the way our combat troops do." I have yet to meet a single soldier who has told me that the training s/he received was fully sufficient such they the soldier was properly trained and had the mental mindset and skill set to respond correctly to their first several combat events and many never get properly up to speed.

Where many seem to really get up to speed is with experience of combat, but some manage to survive without ever getting up to speed (See "On Killing" by Grossman).

April 21, 2011, 04:40 AM
See this is what I was afraid of, I'm thinking there won't be one LEO out there who says they get enough training.

Let me put your mind at ease in the case of the Mississippi Highway Patrol. 22 weeks of sequestered, paramilitary training. Punishing exercises, thousands of rounds fired, unforgiving academics, and an absolute intolerance for failure. Marines that wind up at the academy in Pearl, MS jokingly call it "Paris Island without the sand flies." Even training typically found exclusively in SWAT is the norm.

You can rest assured that Mississippians have complete confidence in the State Troopers. As a matter of fact, I've heard Pearl graduates ridiculed for being "those cops that think they're on SWAT." I can't say the same for other academies, like MPD Academy or Moorehead. The Memphis Academy trains so many officers from area departments that you kind of expect training to get rushed. It's not an ideal situation. And Moorehead has more emphasis on case law than tactics and is only 11 weeks, I think. So it just depends on the department really.

April 21, 2011, 07:29 AM
LEO officers are expected to do so much with VERY little training. I am a cop of 10 years and a trainer. Shooting is a very small part of it. No one has the time/budget/resources to spend hours on the range becoming marksmen. If you want that, you do it on your own time. I would say 99.5% of cops in my department don't touch firearms outside of work.
Cops (not counting SWAT) are SOL if coming up against a determined individual with better training and weapons. Too much police training in the past has focused on 'ambush' scenarios that cause cops to roll their eyes and look at the clock to see how much longer they need to endure this nonsense. :(
Keep the fundamentals simple and practice often.

April 21, 2011, 12:31 PM
So how can some, like the Mississippi State Patrol, get such phenomenal training, and others fall, way, way behind? I wonder what kind of budget Mississippi throws to the State Troopers? Here in Northglenn, CO, we have no budget, Denver is worse. And it shows in the caliber of LEO's that we see here. I know allot of you are saying that money can't fix it, but it certainly couldn't hurt either.

April 21, 2011, 12:40 PM
You're assuming they all fall behind. I attended KCPD's in 1981 and it was fully as intense as the MI outfit described above. In those days, if the 'washout rate' was below a certain percent, they figured the training wasn't tough enough.

IIRC, we started with 26 and finished with 12 or 13.

April 21, 2011, 05:42 PM
Tim makes some fine points, but I do have a question about MHP - how much sustainment training do they get? Is that on a par with what they get at the Academy?

For example, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center has great ranges and instructors. But after you leave, you may end up at the local sand pit, with a guy who is the firearms officer because he is not very good at anything, so they dump all the lesser jobs (car fleet manager, classified files clerk, etc.) on him or her.

April 21, 2011, 07:35 PM
I'm not assuming anything, I'm just noticing a trend. Some officers are saying their departments training is top notch, others are saying it sucks. I'm wondering why that would be. It seems to me that all departments would strive to be the best. Without being a LEO myself I can only speculate that it has allot to do with the caliber of leadership(or lack thereof), the attitude of the individual officer, and the amount of funding the department has. If any one of those is not on track, I would think the whole department suffers. Thats why my Platoon Sergeant quickly got rid of any soldier that didn't want to be there. If I were a cop, I wouldn't want to be anywhere near an fellow officer that didn't have the drive to be the best. And if I were the brass, I sure as heck wouldn't tolerate any officer in my department with a "I have a badge, thats good enough" attitude. I met two Lakewood, CO Officers today at a Veterans job fair, and after talking to them for a while about a job opportunity, I brought up this discussion. They told me pretty much the same thing most of the TFL members have posted. They had to buy their own weapons, pay for their own training, and 80% of the department didn't even want to be there. I don't know about most people, but those 80% aren't the kind of LEO's I wan't "protecting and serving" anything.

April 21, 2011, 09:39 PM
Training is regular and rigorous with MHP. Most officers will go on eventually to one of the special agencies (SWAT, A-Team, SOG, beaurea of investigations, etc.) an will receive more training there. It is a big, if not the biggest, focus. It isn't always about money. Sometimes it's about priorities or political support. Gov. Barbour is very supportive of the HP, and the HP chooses to emphasize training over material things like newer cars. The fleet is not shabby, mind you. It's pristine. But officers are pounded with the promise that heads will roll if they abuse the equipment and don't make it last. They want the money for training, training, and more training. The best man is preferable to the best office, car, or computer.

Terry A
April 23, 2011, 04:25 PM
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.

April 23, 2011, 06:13 PM
Apparently, even the LEOs don't think so.

Because all I ever see them doing is handing out speeding tickets on the highway.

This is horse$#!+. Why don't communities just find a better way to
increase their revenues, and set their police to protecting and serving us,
instead of breaking our balls?

There's a few good reasons most people don't like cops.

April 23, 2011, 07:20 PM
Hmmm, so you don't care if folks kill your family by speeding? Plus, a lot of really bad guys get arrested after a stop for speeding, illegal lane changes, etc. etc. Perhaps you never heard that speed kills?

You do understand that the best way to get out of a speeding ticket is DON'T SPEED?

And revenue is not the issue, public safety is.

Terry A
April 23, 2011, 07:36 PM
Thanks for the good post Sleuth.

April 23, 2011, 09:24 PM
Roger that Sleuth, Wolf we are not discussing whether or not LEO's handing out speeding tickets is harassing people, A good friend of mine was killed by a speeder/influenced driver. I've had several speeding tickets myself, the State Patrolman who gave me my speeding tickets was doing his job, and maybe if the speeder who killed my friend had his balls busted that day my friend would still be alive. If you want to complain about cops doing their jobs start your own thread.

April 23, 2011, 09:33 PM
I wouldn't expect such a thread to last too long, though. Cop-bashing isn't looked upon kindly here. Lot of cop members, and probably most of the rest of us have cop friends or family.

FWIW, of the tickets I received over the years, I only was offended by one: I hadn't seen the school zone light flashing overhead, because I was behind a semi. I passed the semi; saw the two police officers with their radar guns, and thought nothing of it as I was at or under what I thought the speed limit was.

I explained this when I got pulled over, after the officer told me the speed limit was 15, not 35, due to the flashing school zone light (I also hadn't realized the school was on that block). The officer said, "We thought it was odd, since you were looking right at us." But then he wrote the ticket anyway.

I found that annoying, but technically I was speeding, even if it hadn't been my intention.

Now, the other tickets I've received, I had coming. And I was very pleased on the rare occasions that I received warnings (not that rare, in hindsight; 1/3 of the times I was stopped, I got warnings).

I suspect most people would have to admit the same - most tickets are justified, and the police are more likely to give a warning where a ticket could be given, than a ticket that's totally unjustified.

Sorry for the veer.

April 23, 2011, 10:43 PM
They really don't need much that much training at all, if all they're going to

do is fill in the blanks on a citation, and rudely mistreat people in an arrogant

manner. You yourself said this is all they have time for, and what they should be


Shouldn't take any training at all to act in the snotty, nasty way I've

repeatedly encountered.

Bashing? I don't think so. If the shoe fits, wear it, Leo.

Glenn E. Meyer
April 24, 2011, 10:19 AM
Show's over.

Closed. PM's sent.