Law Enforcement Qualification
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Thread: Law Enforcement Qualification

  1. #1

    Law Enforcement Qualification

    I recently had the misfortune of being invited as a "Guest Instructor" to the qualification range of a police department here in Wisconsin. This came after long talks with the head instructor for this department about firearms, training, and qualification standards. Now, I am not a cop, but I have been through most of the training that they go through.

    While at the range, I noticed a few things that really made me angry. For starters, their equipment (Including the glock 23s) was in terrible shape. There was one officer that had a firing pin that jammed all the way out after every shot, and the primer on the follow up round knocked it back into place. This was met with an "Thats nothing to worry about" attitude. If that was not bad enough, all of the officers had new polo's, and hoodies, and things of that nature. They even made it a point to hand out new screen printed glasses with the department logo on them. (I have one that now sits on the back of my stove with bacon fat in it, no pun intended) As a business owner, I can tell you that embroidered and screen printed promo items are not all that cheap.

    Then I helped count up scores, and at the end of the day there were several officers that had failed miserably with their standard duty sidearms, and their squad weapons (870, and AR-15). Not that I could imagine how someone could possibly fail to qualify with a 12 ga at 7 yards, but I just shook my head and kept looking over scores. So instead of putting a black mark on their record and making sure their training was up to standard and then making them re-qualify, they were set out on the firing line again, and all of them shot the course of fire again without even cleaning their weapons. after 3 officers (of a 12 officer department) failed several times that day, they were sent to the range house to clean their weapons so that they could come back the next day and fire the course again. No training, no nothing. One of the officers that was "Instructing" brought out his AR, and we popped a few rounds off at a clay pigeon at 100 yards. But that was interrupted by an officer coming up and asking how to clean his weapon.

    I proceeded to show him how to field strip his gun, and when I got the slide off it looked like it had mud and molasses inside of it. (I was so horrified and impressed that the gun still functioned that it made me want a Glock) And this officer who worked the road alone asked me what he needed to do to clean it.

    I returned the next day to see how things turned out with this guy, and I realized that he was scared of his guns. I watched his eyes snap tightly closed with every round he fired (12 GA, .223, and .40). He jumped sharply and jerked the trigger, I was truly amazed that this guy hit the target at all, and after trying to qualify 3 more times for a grand total of 7 times, he finally passed.

    Maybe I am picky, but I know for a fact that every criminal justice school in America teaches you about the use and care of firearms. And I know for a fact that every branch of the military does the same thing. So I am wondering if this kind of "Qualification" is standard practice.

    It seems to me that something like that is nothing more than gambling with the lives of the people that are supposed to be at the front of the pack with things like this. I mean I have known for a long time that LE qualification standards are a bit lax, but this is ridiculous. This is the kind of thing that gets innocent people killed. And it really makes for a bigger concern if you ever have to call 9/11 and tell them that you just had to defend yourself. Or even have to have police contact while you are carrying. This is frickin scary man...............
    .... And let the one having no sword sell his outer garment and buy one. ~God Wisconsin

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Santa Fe Area, New Mexico
    Sounds like the Department is more concerned with a "Kinder, Gentler, more diverse" force then actually teaching the fundamentals of LEO duties. This laxed attitude is becoming more pervasive through out this country. HENCE why we are licensed to carry.
    "The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." --author and philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Flint, Michigan
    Wow, I dont know how anyone could fail with an AR 15 [Civilian verson of the M4] you either have to be blind or have a crooked barrel to hit the walls, roof or even miss a target. Pure curiosity, how long was the range they shot with each weapon?
    My experiance, if your weapon had the firing pin issue, you were given a different weapon, that would fall under a class 3 repair, and would not be allowed to be shot, much less handled.
    A 12 guage failure at 7 yards is embarassing, again, either blind or a crooked barrel.
    Cleaning isnt a large issue, no matter how dirty most weapons get, they will fire, doesnt effect the accuracy much, although it does throw the spin off a little. Either way, these officers had NO excuse at failure. Ive shot many rounds through many different weapons, M4 with iron sights I shoot a Sharpshooter 33-40 and with an optic, expert. Pistol much the same, minus the Optic.

    LEOs needing instruction on how to field strip a weapon? Are they recruits whove never used an m4 in their life? A pistol?
    Now, I dont want to call you a liar, but this all seems a bit unreal.
    Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus Christ and the American Soldier....One died for your soul; the other for your freedom.

  5. #4
    Amazing how many LEO's will shoot this bad and then sneer at CCW training requirements.

    I remember watching one of our club instructors trying to help some female sheriff's deputies(I won't mention the county). Despite all their training by CLEET, they were TERRIBLE!

    It must be sheer LUCK that they ever hit a bad guy. I cringe at thought of being a bystander.

    I almost suspect many LEOs depend on saturating the bad guys area with bullets and praying to the god of averages to actually hit something.

    Hope they read this and take their training to heart.

    Force Science News


  6. #5
    The fact that this seems near unbelievable is the reason I decided to see what others thought about it. Here was the range of fire for the weapons.

    .40: 3, 5, 7 yards
    12ga: 5, 7, 10 yards
    .223: 10, 15, 25 yards

    The only mod to any of the weapons was the EoTech sights on the AR's.

    As far as the rookie status, the officer i used as an example was a member of the department for 2 years, and was on the road alone for nearly 7 months by the time this happened. So accordingly I was under the impression that he had already been through all his paces and was signed off by everyone. TO, Range Master, Master Sargent, etc. But the 2 veteran officers that failed repeatedly were both officers for more than 8 years by the time we hit the range.

    As far as cleaning the weapon goes, I have seen the receiver end of the barrel blow out of a weapon (M&P 40) that was not maintained, and it was in better shape than the one this officer was carrying. Hence the reason it made me want a glock. So I have to disagree with the idea that it is not that important to make sure a weapon is clean and well maintained. I also have to say that I have a Taurus PT100 that shoots like crap if it is not clean. The group on that opens up nearly 4 inches at 25 yards if it gets too dirty.

    As far as the officers opinions on training standards for CCW, I completely agree. I hold my students to a standard, and those that fall short fail every time. Now I know my standards are a little higher than most of the schools out there, but I have yet to have a student that fails twice. And I have seen a majority of my CCW students out shoot police officers that I have taught refresher courses to. I have picked up more LE students as a result of re-qualification than I have had regular students during my time as an instructor.

    I just think that it is scary that this is a growing standard in the law enforcement field. I was always under the impression that if you didn't shoot well as a LEO, you were not allowed to carry a weapon. If for no other reason than the fact that as a general rule, you may have to use that weapon in a populated area. I mean what happens if you have to draw your weapon at 6 flags, where there are a million kids running around.
    .... And let the one having no sword sell his outer garment and buy one. ~God Wisconsin

  7. This is about par for the course for Army MP and Army CID as well. People scared of the gun and then do not know what to do when a FTF happens. They qualify that is it, no practice, and if someone fails...shoot again and again and again until they pass.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Pennsylvania, Delaware County
    In NYC, you will find a substantial amount of officers that rarely train after the academy and become complacent. It's a shame since my 12 year old niece could easily pass the nypd pistol qualification course. Don't forget that the majority of new recruits (well at least in anti-gun states) never handled a firearm until they join the force.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Cleveland, OH
    Back in mid 70s the USAF Security Police squadron I was in used to ask me and the guy on the other side of a certain individual to put 10 rnds in the guy's target between us. We would all get 98+ rounds in our sillouettes. He could shoot but couldn't tell which target was his!

    The situation described has been going on and getting worse since I was in College (LE tech)and LE in the early 70's. We had someone in our college firearms class the couldn't hit at 7 yards. If you watched they closed their eyes for every shot.

  10. #9
    I would say that the OP's story maybe surprises me but does not shock me at all. The knowlege of guns and how to use them is lost on the average public citizen and unless they have been given proper training it is alos lost on the average LEO. Police Academies are so intent on training LEO on procedures that they do not have time for such things as law and guns. Much like a person taking Education in college, they spend all their time learning how to teach but none on what to teach.

    Do not take this as anti gun but I do worry about the number of people and LEO running around with guns that their primary training has been what they have seen on TV. I know this rubs most people the wrong way, both anti and pro gun, but I am all in favor of gun training being part of the junior high school curriculum. If we are going to allow everyone to run around with a gun then we need to be sure they know how to use it. In SC they require everyone to pass the High School Exit Exam before they can receive a diploma but that exam need to include more life skills than it does presently and "Life Skills" should be required for every student in every grade from 7-12.

    For instance I hear the radio ad almost every day about how the credit reduction company reduced their monthly house payment by a little over $500 and saved them $352,000 over the life of the mortage. Can you figure out how that happened, I can't but the average person has no idea that there is anything wrong with it.

  11. #10
    I have said for a long time that some people just should not own guns, and that firearms training should be a national requirement.

    As far as NYC, I know it fairly well, I was stationed in NJ and we used to catch the train up on the weekends. One of the guys stationed with me was from the city, so he showed me around, and the one thing he taught me there was that there were far more illegally armed people there, than people who even owned guns legally. His exact words to me were "It is so hard for someone to buy a gun legally, and so much more expensive. I can walk down the block and get almost any pistol for under $100. But if I buy one legally it is gonna cost me at least $600. Thats why we have more thugs and crime than anywhere in the country."

    That was a statement that has stuck with me for years. I was certified as an NRA instructor by a guy who was a NYC cop in the 70's, then he got a job as the chief of police outside Atlantic city in the 80's. He said over and over that if the current law enforcement standard was a tenth what he made me go through to be an instructor, you would never have an officer involved accidental shooting again. It is really amazing to hear that this is such a standard throughout the US. I mean it is really frightening to know that they people that show up when someone dials 911 are more dangerous than a majority of law abiding citizens that own firearms.
    .... And let the one having no sword sell his outer garment and buy one. ~God Wisconsin

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