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Thread: What kind of firearm training do Police go through?

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    Does anyone know what kind of training classes cops are required to take?

    Range time required per month?

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    Regular Member just_a_car's Avatar
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    I'm sure JohnnyLaw and Morris can give us an idea.... *looks around*
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    DrewGunner wrote:
    Does anyone know what kind of training classes cops are required to take?

    Range time required per month?
    All Cops (in Wa.) are required to pass a ppc (Police Pistol Combat) or equivelant course every 6 months, but most all Dept's require much more additional training as well. If you carry a rifle, shotgun or both, you are also required to qual with those bi-annually as well.

    I can't speak for all other Dept's but I can tell you thatmy Dept. has top notch firearm training. In addition to the ppc's and long gun quals there are tactical drills including ipsc style, cqb, malfunctions/reloading, fats machine, gunretention/takeaways, fun house, running man, night fire (complete darkness w/flashlight), timed courses, transitioning from rifle to pistol, offhand draw/fire, shoot/don't shoot, andhostagedrills. We also have a remote control semi-auto paintball gun that shoots back at Officers on certain courses.

    We also use simunition guns and practice active shooter drills in large complicated buildings, with the "bad guys" being played by our SWAT team. These include forming hasty entry teams, shield usage, andhostage rescue.

    There are many outside classes offered as well, and you can spend as much time on the ranges as you like (ammo is provided).

    The more training one has, the better prepared you are when the SHTF!

    If you have to fight, do not fear death. We will all die one day, so fight skillfully and bravely! And if it is to be that you die, then at least go to God proudly. Meet him as the proud warrior that you are, and not as a sniveling coward. Nobody lives forever.

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    JL,

    When using the range, do you use standard carry ammo or do you use cheap FMJ junk?

    Just curious what the professionals do as I find it hard to justify the good stuff, but it is nice to practice with what one may someday have to use...

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    Thanks for the insight, JL. Always a pleasure to "get it from the horses mouth", as it were.
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    joshmmm wrote:
    JL,

    When using the range, do you use standard carry ammo or do you use cheap FMJ junk?

    Just curious what the professionals do as I find it hard to justify the good stuff, but it is nice to practice with what one may someday have to use...
    That depends.

    For all official duty quals we use duty ammo. Alot of the rest of the exercises are done with fmj, although it's not the junk. If indoors, the no-lead primer ammo is used as it allegedly puts alot less lead particles into the air, for you to breathe.

    I would certainly want to be familiar with whatever it is you carry on the street, as typically it may shoot and feel different. The duty ammo I carry is extremely hot, and definetly makes the gun come alive when shooting.
    If you have to fight, do not fear death. We will all die one day, so fight skillfully and bravely! And if it is to be that you die, then at least go to God proudly. Meet him as the proud warrior that you are, and not as a sniveling coward. Nobody lives forever.

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    Johnny Law wrote:
    The more training one has, the better prepared you are when the SHTF!
    Also stated as "The more you sweat in Training, the less you bleed in Combat".
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

    "If you refuse to stand up for others now, who will stand up for you when your time comes?"

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    Regular Member just_a_car's Avatar
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    Johnny Law wrote:
    I would certainly want to be familiar with whatever it is you carry on the street, as typically it may shoot and feel different. The duty ammo I carry is extremely hot, and definetly makes the gun come alive when shooting.
    Agreed. That's why I shoot the ten rounds of Winchester Ranger SXT® 165gr in my G27 that I carry before I start practicing with the Winchester White Box 165gr. That WWB is quite tame in comparison. I'm glad I keep up on the Ranger, since I'd hate to be surprised if I ever have to use it (and trust me, I don't want to... but as the saying goes: Rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it).

    By the way, to anyone that's wondering, no, I'm not LE... I just carry "their" ammo.
    B.S. Chemistry UofWA '09
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    fats machine
    That's one I haven't heard of...


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    FATS is an interactive training systemthat has the capability of an operator escalating orde-escalating the situations depending upon the responses given by the officer in training.

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    kparker wrote:
    fats machine
    That's one I haven't heard of...
    I don't know, but a guess would be that it's a reactive video/gun system. Kind of like a really advanced version of duck hunt.

    That or it's the "Police Trainer 2" arcade game, where you try to shoot disks, bottles and robots to get the highest rank

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    When I was in the academy we had range classes with street tactics classes for 6 weeks 3 hours per day and when I went to work for the Sheriff Dept. we qual. every 3 months as the sheriff required. we had to shoot 95% or better to keep working.

    We had 2 course of fire

    the main course was

    3yds. 10rds strong hand ,10rds weak hand

    7yds 10rds strong hand ,10 rds Weak hand

    15yds 10rds. left barricade, 10rds. right barricade, 10rds under barricade

    25yds 10rds strong hand.

    Plus 10rds of Shotgun from 15yds and 25yds.

    the second course was taken every 6months and it was a shoot don't shot type of course .

    when we qualified we had to do it with every gun we carried on duty plus all the off duty one's

    Plus if we carried a AR15 or any other type of rifle we had to Quil. with it and it was from 25yds to 200 yds with a course of fire that included shooting from a barricade at B27 type targets.

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    What? No ZOMBIE training? Sheesh....

    Guess it's up to us then!

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    BobCav wrote:
    What? No ZOMBIE training? Sheesh....

    Guess it's up to us then!
    Yup, that's why I keep Mosins, my CETME and my AES-10 in the safe... all good zombie rifles.

    For my personal experience last year with the zombie uprising you can check out these two posts, in chronological order:
    http://just-a-car.livejournal.com/35694.html
    http://just-a-car.livejournal.com/35973.html

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    BLEA - Basic Academy - I believe the hours now is 80 or there abouts. Most recruits, once graduated from BLEA, have to qualify with their own agency. The acaddemy does have a top notch indoor range on the grounds in Burien.

    Per the WAC, officers/deputies are only required to qualify once yearly and the agency determines the qualification type/rounds fired, etc. Some agencies only qualify yearly, some every other month, monthly, etc.

    Insurers only want what is required by law so they are fine so long as one qualification is conducted yearly.

    Most qualifications are going from a scored system (XX% to pass, scaled to 100% for ranking/awards) to a simple pass/fail system (easier to defend against in court).

    We qualify five separate elements per year, full light handgun, low-light handgun, full light rifle, low-light rifle, all conducted to a maximum of 25 yards (based upon the available contracted private owned range). Then we have less lethal shotgun (we no longer have lethal shotguns in the active inventory so no training or qualification there). We have three additional live fire training sessions per year at 3 hours per block. Due to costs, we use ball ammunition in the same weight as duty ammunition. By policy, we also conduct decision making skills training once a year. This is done with scenario based training (Simunitions (r) ). We incorporate firearms and DT at least twice a year (gun grabs, etc.).

    In the state of Washington/CJTC, in order to become a recognized LE firearms instructor you need to accomplish at least Instructor Development (40 hours), basic handgun I (40 hours). Then you have basic handgun II (40 hours), patrol rifle (40 hours) and shotgun (40 hours). Take all of the courses if you wish to become a master instructor. However, many agencies who are only interested in getting their people trained and qualified use the NRA Instructor Schools in lieu of the state. Often cheaper and comperable in the basic skill set of training.

    Hope that helps.

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    Thanks a bunch for that insight, Morris. Again, it's a great boon for all of us at OCDO to have your's and JL's perspective on this board.
    B.S. Chemistry UofWA '09
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    Do bear in mind that the Firearms Academy of Seattle (actually located near Onalaska) dedicates more of its time and resources (including the talents of Marty Hayes, and Massad Ayoob when he's visiting) to training LEOs (and/or those who instruct LEOs) than it does to training private citizens. When it comes to firearms training, Washington state cops are probably a damn sight better than most.

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    FAS and Marty/Gila provide excellent training.

    However, the sad reality is that cops in the state of Washington do not get more training time, per se, than your top shooters or serious enthusiasts. In fact, it is far less. Ask any instructor and they will tell you they wish they had more time available to get their people into live fire training. When a majority of officers are not gun saavy, do not practice sufficiently off duty ad do not even carry off duty, you have administrator who mirror the same. Firearms training, while improving, is still lacking in quantity, if not quality as driven by administrators.

    Many smaller agencies do not have budgets to train or shoot more than the once a year by law qualification. A local agency had less than $1500 for their entire training budget. An agency of about 15 FT & reserve. Completely unsat. Yet the county that this agency resides in qualifies every other month and just built a top notch indoor range because they recognize the value of firearms training as integrated into the life.

    I struggle with the ideas that agencies can build grand facilities, outfit their patrol cars with all of the latest and greatest gadgets, state of the art emergency ops centers, send officers to anything but firearms training, then kevtch about the cost of firearms training. I am lucky, in a way, that my agency has been relatively committed to the idea of 4 times yearly for live fire. But that has been a dog fight when administrators have pushed for three or as little as two live fire session per year to save on training dollars. So far, my chief has been supportive of that and I appreciate it. But I also recognize that because we are involved in so few OIS (officer involved shootings) that there is a mentality in the council that more training really isn't necessary.

    Tack on so few officers taking firearms qualifications and training seriously and you have have problems. How about this: say you have free access to a local indoor range (all you jave to do is show up, sign in, and get a lane), paid for by the PD. Say you get issued 50 rounds of handgun ammo per month and far more for rifle. Would you say, "Hell yeah!" and use it to you maximum? Most of us would. Yet 5% of my officers take advantage of this.

    Yep, 5%.

    The excuses for not training off duty range from "I'm not getting paid for this so I won't do it" to "I'm an excellent shot and therefore don't need to practice."

    Sorry, long winded response but I want to make sure citizens understand the frustrations firearms instructors in this state feel. At the yearly conference the state instructor's association hosts, instructors regularly comment on how they are being forced to train more with less (not because citizens demand less, but because training resources are being diverted to other HSLD things like gangs, WMDs, IED and ICS (as examples)). I also want the shooting community of Washington to understand why stats like hit percentages to rounds fired are the way they are. The shooting fraternity that used to exist in cop shops in the 50s & 60s just don't exist anymore. How many agencies do you know of that have department sponsored, sanctioned or approved pistol or shooting comp teams?

    Best to all and fight for your rights.

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    Morris wrote:
    We qualify five separate elements per year, full light handgun, low-light handgun, full light rifle, low-light rifle, all conducted to a maximum of 25 yards
    We pistol qual at 50 yards, and rifle at 100 yards. No misses are allowed at 100 yards, and if you use an optic (I use a eotech) you must qual with both iron sights, and the optic.
    If you have to fight, do not fear death. We will all die one day, so fight skillfully and bravely! And if it is to be that you die, then at least go to God proudly. Meet him as the proud warrior that you are, and not as a sniveling coward. Nobody lives forever.

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    We had to "dumb down" our quals three years ago. It used to be any misses off the shaded portion of a BLEA/modified B27 target was an automatic failure, reinforcing the concept that you must account for every errant round. Officers and sergeants bitched so much that we were ordered to alter our quals to make misses -10 points. Guess what, qual scores went down overall, fewer people practiced.

    We get one opportunity a year to use a 100 yard range but all we do there is long range familiarization.

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    Euromutt wrote:
    Do bear in mind that the Firearms Academy of Seattle (actually located near Onalaska) dedicates more of its time and resources (including the talents of Marty Hayes, and Massad Ayoob when he's visiting) to training LEOs (and/or those who instruct LEOs) than it does to training private citizens. When it comes to firearms training, Washington state cops are probably a damn sight better than most.
    Not sure where this came from, but wanted to correct. At FAS, we in fact train more private citizens than cops.

    Morris, do you have the WAC for the once a year firearms training requirement?

    Marty

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    In my agency, there are 8 range sessions per year. 2 per quarter. We are mandated to attend at least one per quarter to keep up our certification.

    We do a lot more than the simple line shoots of days past. Recently we had weak hand drawing, loading, firing, reloading, etc... we've had shooting from a car, shooting under stress, shooting small fastmoving objects (to simulate a charging dog), low light shooting, etc... I think this month we are going to focus on close quarter combat.



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    Marty Hayes wrote:
    Not sure where this came from, but wanted to correct. At FAS, we in fact train more private citizens than cops.
    My apologies; I guess I read more than was warranted into some comments Massad Ayoob made in one of his columns regarding your degree of involvement with WSLEFIA, Mr. Hayes.

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    Crackajack, I just now realized (though, probably should have from some of your other posts) that you're LEO and I'm 99% sure with which department, but I'll keep that to myself.

    That said, I've been remiss in adding your name in thanking you, having your opinion here along with Morris, JL, and 911Boss (whom I also just realized was LEO or support services... waiting on reply for that). You folks not only bring a different angle and/or opinion to our discussions but also somewhat legitamize what I'll simply call "our movement"... in that, it's not just a bunch of 'wack-job' civilians; yano?

    Either way... thanks for your continued posting. Hope to hear more from ya!
    B.S. Chemistry UofWA '09
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    Can anyone tell me how much Handgun Retention training police officers go through initially and if any as continuing ed.? Having been through a class yesterday, I realize I need a LOT more practice to even start to be good at it. But there was a discussion outside of class about liability if my gun was taken while OC'ing. The question considered was did I take "reasonable" precautions against having that gun taken while I was in public.

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