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Old April 13, 2019, 10:17 AM   #114
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Join Date: May 22, 2011
Posts: 10,502
Originally Posted by Nanuk View Post
One of my Chiefs made the following comment " We train people to the minimum acceptable standard, if they want to get better it is on them". I could not agree more. I have been shooting competitively for longer than I have been in LE (Early 1970's).

To many cops a pistol is just something to hang on their belt because they have too. I will also say that many CCW's lack any training and minimal proficiency as well. I used to administer my state's CCW testing, most of the applicants were scary in their gun handling and shooting.
In my own training a lot of the time I've been with other officers. There's a dramatic difference, in my experience and on the average, between the typical patrol officer and those in SWAT or other response teams. The difference is as dramatic as what I see in the civilian world of gun owners versus shooters. Both groups own firearms, but one makes it a business to practice with them.

I've seen veteran patrol officers muzzle their bodies while drawing their firearms in a vehicle, repeatedly shoot the wrong target on a square range when they're not under pressure, and I've talked to instructors that have told me that when they teach department mandated courses they might as well be herding cats and the most pressing question becomes when is lunch. To be fair I've also met some old timers that taught me a thing or two and they were great resources (they are usually training officers themselves). I've also seen officers just about to graduate the academy that frankly didn't have the gun handling I'd expect from a kid who'd been through the Appleseed program much less an academy.

Most SWAT or response team officers I've trained under or with are a different story. Some blow me away with the time they've put into this and it's great pushing myself to keep up with them. It's a direct part of their profession and it shows. The thing is after all the cop movies and TV shows over the ages these are the officers with the level of experience that people seem to expect from the average officer because of what Hollywood has told them.

This isn't me disparaging patrol officers. I imagine for many officers they will never fire a shot in anger (admittedly no one is shooting at me so my judgement can be called into question). Their days are filled with other tasks and it's easy to lose the importance of firearms in the noise. Time and money are always limiting factors as well. I also think the reality is that there are always individuals or groups in any law enforcement or military body where those people become the go to for more skilled weapons applications. This was true before firearms.

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