Police Quals

13-Jun-12 – 12:20 by ToddG

Police firearms qualification standards tend to be easy. It may not seem that way to many of the officers, but to anyone serious enough about shooting that they read this site there are very few challenges in police quals.

That is very much by design. While shooters might condemn the practice, departments have a tremendous number of often conflicting priorities. They need an objectively measurable test. They need something that they can defend in court. They need something that is achievable by most recruits given the limited training time and ammunition provided during the academy. Many agencies have been sued for having qualifications that were “too hard.”

But it’s not just the level of difficulty that raises concern. Most police quals have almost nothing to do with measuring actual pertinent skills. I shot a police qual earlier this year that begins at the fifty foot line. Shooters have seventy-five seconds to fire 18 rounds, six of them from a mandated “mirror grip” around cover. When I asked, no one had any recollection of an officer in the department ever using a “mirror grip” in an actual OIS (officer involved shooting).

But it’s in their qual.

And they spend time training their people to do it, not because it’s a gunfighting skill, but because it’s a skill they need to pass the qual.

The FIs (firearms instructors) don’t like it. They would be happy to see it change. But changing a police qual has dangers of its own.

Another large agency I’ve worked with made a pretty significant change to its qualification program recently. To put it mildly, the qual got harder and it got much more practical. Now there are things like moving off the line during the draw and timed reloads. The speed at which the officers are required to draw and shoot was slashed in half. Even the target was changed to better measure whether hits would actually be effective or not. The FIs sat down and thought about what their officers actually faced during previous OIS, then tried to design the qual around shooting skills that reflect those OIS. It’s one of the best quals I’ve ever seen.

The result hasn’t been pretty. While new officers coming out of the academy can pass the test just fine, the old guard is struggling. Guys who’ve gone 20+ years in their career scoring 100% on the old PPC-style slowfire qualification are sometimes unable to pass the new standard. And they’re not happy, and they’re blaming the qual.

It will be interesting to see if the department sticks with the qual and demands more from its people… or just capitulates for the sake of easier paper shuffling.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

 

  1. 44 Responses to “Police Quals”

  2. I would be interested in seeing what the new COF is for the agency you mention.

    By 167 on Jun 13, 2012

  3. “limited training time and ammunition”

    “often conflicting priorities”

    “Many agencies have been sued for having qualifications that were “too hard.””

    These three quotes summarize the main issues nicely. Another one not mentioned is a severe shortage of money. Not that money equates to quality training in every instance, but when a department is struggling to afford enough ammunition for annual qualification, not to mention any for actual training, money is an issue. It drives nearly everything and as a result nearly everything is a compromise between what we’d like, what we need, and what we can get by with.

    By John Taylor on Jun 13, 2012

  4. I’m FI in the Border Patrol and I agree with Todd’s article.
    We run extra courses like the FAST drill, typewriter drill and the Rangemaster Bullseye course after regular quals are completed. It’s opened the agent’s eyes as to how good or bad they really are.

    Thanks for fighting the fight!

    By Richard Miller on Jun 13, 2012

  5. First Question: is there a reasonable way to find out what the qualifications standard is for your local police department, to try to run it yourself as a civilian?

    Second Question: Do you see any benefit to doing so? Other than having good counter to the “only ones” argument you sometimes see in debates.

    By ford.304 on Jun 13, 2012

  6. Do you happen to have the COF of the qual you like? I would love to shoot it cold and see if I could pass it.

    By BalloonGoesUp on Jun 13, 2012

  7. Concur with everything written above. It is quite sad to see the condition of many current LE training and qual programs…

    By DocGKR on Jun 13, 2012

  8. I’ve received multiple requests for the “good” qual. Unfortunately, for now I’ve been asked not to distribute it or identify the agency. I’m not interested in getting the FIs there in trouble. Hopefully once the dust settles it will become well known through other sources.

    ford.304: The best suggestion I could make is to befriend an FI from the local department and ask him. Depending on where you live, that may or may not be feasible. While I suppose in theory it could be beneficial to proof you have the requisite shooting skills to qualify, police officers receive so much other training in terms of force on force, legalities, judgment, etc. that simply passing the qual doesn’t really equate to having the same training they get.

    By ToddG on Jun 13, 2012

  9. Any chance you could modify the “good” qual enough that you’re not telling tales out of school and then publish it as the PT.com qual?

    By okie john on Jun 13, 2012

  10. I work for a DOD police dept and our officers are required to shoot the navy handgun qualification course. It is very easy and the majority of them have trouble passing that. Here is a copy of our qual course.

    http://www.star-center.com/Small%20Arms/Qualification%20Criteria%20-%20Pistol.htm

    scroll down to number 8 for a summary. The problem here mirrors everything that has been mentioned so far but a large part of it also seems to be that the officers here just don’t care and that is what bothers me the most.

    By Rob on Jun 13, 2012

  11. I found this for the Federal Air Marshal… not sure if it is up to date, but looks interesting. http://www.thegunzone.com/fam-lawman/fam-qual.html

    By cct125us on Jun 13, 2012

  12. Handgun Speed & Accuracy COF

    This is what is required in Arkansas. Shot on a B27.

    Distance Rounds Time
    25yd From Holster 2rds 6 sec
    25yd From Ready 2rds 5 sec
    25yd From Ready 2rds 5 sec

    LOAD ADDITIONAL 5 ROUNDS

    Distance Rounds Time
    15yd From Holster 3rds 5 sec
    15yd From Ready 3rds 4 sec
    15yd From Holster 2rds 4 sec
    15yd From Ready 1rd 2 sec
    15yd From Holster 2rds 4 sec
    15yd From Ready 1rd 2 sec

    Distance Rounds Time
    7yd From Holster 5rds 15 sec (R)
    7yd From Holster 3rds 4 sec
    7yd From Ready 3rds 3 sec
    7yd From Ready 3rds 3 sec

    Distance Rounds Time
    3yd From Holster 6rds 12 sec (R)
    3yd WHO From Holste 2rds 3 sec
    3yd WHO From Ready 2rds 2 sec
    3yd WHO From Ready 2rds 2 sec
    3yd SHO From Holste 2rds 3 sec
    3yd SHO From Ready 2rds 2 sec
    3yd SHO From Ready 2rds 2 sec

    Scoring: Maximum score 500, minimum score 400 (80%).

    By 167 on Jun 13, 2012

  13. In Illinois, most depts have some variation of the IPA (Illinois Police Assoc.), PPC-style 48 rd course of fire.

    Personally, I love it: a great way to shoot groups and hone some trigger control.

    It does bother me, however, that a lot of rank-and-file struggle with this COF and that it is largely irrelevant to what they may face – dynamic motion, close distance, flash sight pictures, etc.

    I try to get a lot of the cops out to play IDPA/USPSA just for the reflexive manipulations, but a fair number of ’em get defensive and say that “gun games will get you killed” or that they need “utmost accuracy” due to liability…

    I dunno – I can see some of it, but often times thing they just don’t want to feel like they look like newbies. That’s Pride f(*’n with you.

    By Les on Jun 13, 2012

  14. I am the lead FI for our department and over the last several years have been able to escalate the training of our department to more realistic applications. I have the luxury of changing our qualification COF each period. I have also been able to change the qualifications to replicate what is happening in our OIS’s. We have seen an increase of our hit ratio’s in our OIS’s. This year alone we have a 55% hit ratio (I would obviously like to see 100%), but 55% is not bad in gunfights. We focus more of our qualifications around getting out of the holster fast and getting effective rounds on target. 81% of our OIS’s in the last 6 years, where the pistol is the only weapon fired, occur inside 7 yards. With that, we concentrate on firing a majority of our qualification rounds inside that distance with speed. I do feel there is a need and training value to shoot some rounds from distance, but with limited training time, we concentrate on what is more likely to happen in gunfights.

    By Steve on Jun 13, 2012

  15. In FL, most agencies that had an in-service qualification requirement were shooting the 48 academy qualification standard. There was no state-mandated in-service qualification requirement. When HR-218 went into effect, FL devised a 40 round in-service standard, requiring all FL officers to shoot it every 2 years at a minimum. Most agencies have now gone to that as their in-service requirement. Agencies can still have internal requirements, they just have to shoot the state course every two years. Many agencies still have their own “qualification” requirement. One large central FL agency used to have a one-hit qualification. Draw and fire on a steel target at a specified distance. The time it took to actually hit the target determined pass/fail. I think they’ve changed that a little bit. The thing about that though was that agency has a tremendous in-service training program with lots of force-on-force training and other real training requirements, not just shooting paper on a square range.

    By Ken on Jun 13, 2012

  16. That first sentence should read 48 ROUND academy qualification standard.

    By Ken on Jun 13, 2012

  17. Re: Steve’s post above, I know him and can personally vouch for what he and his FIs have accomplished. More departments should be studio lucky as to have the personnel and policies that allow such progressive qualification and training standards.

    By ToddG on Jun 13, 2012

  18. Our local PD is horrible when it comes to firearms training among the rank and file. I’ve heard our head FI say that it’s tough to get guys to qualify. Sadly, I think it’s because the rank and file don’t seem to care. I personally think it’s more related to the hiring process that weeds out those who would care, but that’s another story. To illustrate the problem…Every officer is allotted a case of ammo every 6months or so. Which really isn’t much at all, but the sad thing is. HALF OF THAT ALLOTTED AMMO ISN’T USED!!! So when qual time comes around few have actually practiced any since the last time they had to qualify. Those who do care end up using it later, but you’d think that an officer would want to hone their skill at one of their tools available to them…NOPE!

    By Adam on Jun 13, 2012

  19. I’ve had the opportunity to shoot quals with my local Sheriff’s Office 2/3x a year and I agree with the above sentiments. Generous time limits, no standing offhand past 15 yards (Prone only at 20 yds, no 25 yd COF) and the anatomically-inaccurate B27 target. In the past 4 years, I don’t think I’ve dropped more than 1 point on the qual course and I am hesitant to consider myself anything beyond an average shooter.

    However, the past 2 years the FIs have incorporated a “combat course” shot after the official qualification. The course of fire changes each qual, but the emphasis is always on skills that would pertain to the actual use of force in real-world scenarios: use of cover and barricades, SOM, vehicle tactics, SHO/WHO draws, slicing the pie and other skills the average LEO needs but is probably not practicing on their own. The course is shot for time and records are kept, although there is no pass/fail or marksmanship delineation.

    Of course, the “combat course” is shot on full-size IPSC steel with the occasional B27 for closer ranges, so again a high degree of accuracy is not required and the COFs are not particularly challenging, but at least the deputies are getting some exposure to these concepts 4x a year.

    By ghettomedic on Jun 13, 2012

  20. Even worse is when an agency has a more than generous time standard and then the FI pretends the shots over par never happened.
    Pencil whipping firearms quals is worse than having easy quals.

    By JodyH on Jun 13, 2012

  21. As a FI at a large department, I agree with some of what was said above. Here is my issue, the qual course is an an administrative standard that must be met to maintain employment. At best, you want solid gun fighting principles incorporated into it. At a minimum, you want it to be devoid of bad training principles. But it should not be a replacement for training. Combat courses, stress fire drills, low light, shooting on the move, effective use of cover and other things are training and it is not feasible to put all or even a significant subset into a qualification standard. We recently changed are qual to incorporate greater training principles and more accurately mimic our OIS’s. Even with those in, training outside of the qual on tactics is mandatory for every firearms day.

    By I prefer to not be named on Jun 13, 2012

  22. IPTNBN — very few agencies have any substantial mandatory training outside of qualifications and remedial training for those who cannot pass. Regular in service training is sorely lacking for many agencies and officers.

    By ToddG on Jun 13, 2012

  23. Most agencies I know train regularly to teach meaningful skills and that’s been my observations in my area over the last 10+ years. And being a competitor knowing that the top guys happen to be LEO’s; which is the same nationally as well, I believe care should be taken when comparing LEO firearms instructions today to ensure one isn’t stating based on generalization made from observations 20 years ago. Kinda like how cops hang out at doughnut shops…. Are their agencies doing things that don’t make sense-yes, but they are the few.

    By Matt on Jun 13, 2012

  24. Are their agencies doing things that don’t make sense-yes, but they are the few.

    Like Chicago… Which is large, disorganized, and terrible when it comes to training the rank and file…

    :)

    By Les on Jun 13, 2012

  25. Here’s a link to Georgia’s P.O.S.T course. I noticed that the head shots here are from the low ready. My department mandates from the holster. I’ve aced it a few times with different actions and calibers. One reason I haven’t shot more perfect scores is because I don’t game the course, I shoot it as fast as I can.

    http://www.gapost.org/pdf_file/gsac05.pdf

    By mongooseman on Jun 13, 2012

  26. I’m one of the FI’s for my dept. (a S.O.). we require everyone to pass the State standard PQC twice a year, which is State mandated. The PQC, is not difficult, however people continue to have problems with it. The PQC incorporates time limits, drawing, and reloads, all of which are timed. Now in my opinion, as well as probably everyone who regularly read PT.com, the time limits are too long. But none the less, the time constraints really mess with some people’s heads. so to that degree they time limits serve their intended purpose, they induce some level of stress. The course of fire is only a 25 round course, and takes place from 10 yards and in. As someone else mentioned, nearly all police handgun shootings occur at short range.

    Now, I know as well as you all do, that doesn’t mean shooting at a distance should not be practiced. So, several years ago when I became a FI, I started adding Tac shoots either after they qualified on the PQC, or during dedicated range training days in addition to the mandated qualification shoots ($$$ permitting of course). These shoots involve a lot of shooting and moving, awkward positions from behind cover, shooting from within a patrol car, shooting around (outside) a patrol car, working with a partner, transitions to and from a rifle, etc…. Sadly, as of late training dollars have dried up again, so this type of training is only sporatically occuring following mandated PQC qualifications. With budgets being what they are, we are doing the best we can with less $$$. It seems no one is interested or willing to provide adequate $$$ to even fund basic police functions, so training unfortunately ends up low on the priority list.

    as for the people having trouble qualifying. Todd mentioned conflicting priorities, some of the best cops/investigators I’ve worked with, are guys who’ve struggled to qualify at one time or another. A guy I know (sort of) once said, cops are like any other profession. There will be cops who are good at firearms tactics, others who can drive a car like a race car driver, some who can talk to people (interview) and get them to admitt to everything including who killed Hoffa, and some who are just in the wrong line of work. So if you break out the firearms proficiency skill set, you’ll have a few who are excellent marksmen and/or tactical shooters, most who are so so, and a some who have trouble qualifying to the few who simply can not qualify. the same bell curve that applies to most in life. It’s not feasible to expect one person to excell in all aspects of cop work, sure there are those guys/gals, but by and large you’ll find many more who are average at all the expected skill sets.

    In reality, what good is a pure gunfighter in LE. If all a guy is good at is gunfighting, and can’t investigate a crime/talk to people/reason through problems/etc. he is useless 99.9% of the time. Sure, he’s great when hot lead is flying, but how often does that occur (granted it occurs more/less frequently depending on location). How many places run full time Tac Teams, not very many (LAPD, Houston PD(I think), and theres probably a few others). So qualification standards are to a point that everyone can benefit and at least practice some fundemental skills (draw, reload, etc…).

    Would I like to run uber tac courses of fire everytime i run a group/class through range time, yes. I would love it, but sadly it would not be beneficial to the entire group… So for me, the way around this was to offer additional training after we get through the PQC.

    By lcso264 on Jun 14, 2012

  27. “In reality, what good is a pure gunfighter in LE. If all a guy is good at is gunfighting, and can’t investigate a crime/talk to people/reason through problems/etc. he is useless 99.9% of the time. Sure, he’s great when hot lead is flying, but how often does that occur (granted it occurs more/less frequently depending on location).”

    lcso264,

    It’s not the odds, it’s the stakes.

    By ghettomedic on Jun 14, 2012

  28. Our quals were overhauled in the 1980s with an influx of API (Gunsite) grads at the state level. I was surprised about 10 years ago to find out that with 40 hours of training (about 1k rounds on a square range) the state mandated qual course was more difficult than the standards to pass the 250 course. The state course is available on the DPS website, and the target requirements are pretty specific. I will post specifics this weekend from work.

    That said, I recently took AFHF, and to say I sucked is putting it mildly. Todd was great, and I honestly think that I learned more about running a class than about aiming fast and hitting fast. I have been using Todd’s drills for years, but the drill is of limited use without the additional input and coaching the drills are of limited value. use.

    By Pat on Jun 14, 2012

  29. Our quals were overhauled in the 1980s with an influx of API (Gunsite) grads at the state level. I was surprised about 10 years ago to find out that with 40 hours of training (about 1k rounds on a square range) the state mandated qual course was more difficult than the standards to pass the 250 course. The state course is available on the DPS website, and the target requirements are pretty specific. I will post specifics this weekend from work.

    That said, I recently took AFHF, and to say I sucked is putting it mildly. Todd was great, and I honestly think that I learned more about running a class than about aiming fast and hitting fast. I have been using Todd’s drills for years, but the drill is of limited use without the additional input and coaching. It seems that while the worst score I can recall is a 94, for nearly two decades now I have been training to the test. I have known for a while just repeating the portions of the qual that the shooter is having issues with is not the way to improve a shooter’s skill, but the FIC is very good about teaching the mechanics of the basics, and how to run the qual, and score it, and very little time troubleshooting shooter’s issues.

    Change is slow. I went through the FIC in 2007, and was the fly on the wall for a conversation between the two Master instructors in the state on Isosceles vs. Weaver, and Iso was not approved for teaching recruits, and not taught at all in state run instructor level courses. The hard weaver advocate was responsible for many of the changes to the state program in the 80s, but was doctrinally blinded. My agency fielded their first patrol rifle in 2007-2008. Now we have more to issue than we have interested people to carry them. Our active shooter stuff is progressing, but Columbine was 14 years ago, and 9/11 was 11. I recently was able to order enough ammo to give my officers 50 rounds a month to practice with, after two consecutive years of running out of ammo for state mandated training, and having to borrow ammo from officers.

    It is sad to say that most cops are not interested at all in firearms skills. It is such a small part of what we engage in on a day to day basis that few can be bothered to practice. The ones who need the most practice complain that the department won’t pay for them to practice or give them ammo to practice with, yet I have no-shows for every range day that I give. I actually wander the halls offering to take people out to shoot because I have so many cancellations, and the excuses from our poorer shooters are unbelieveable.
    That said my FAST times are coming down, with my first two clean runs last week. Those of you that have seen me shoot will realize the accomplshment there. Now my sights are se t on consistent sub 9 second time, clean.

    By Pat on Jun 14, 2012

  30. “It’s not the odds, it’s the stakes.”

    you are correct, I don’t hedge my bets on odds and dont’ think any of us should. However that said, there are many other aspects of LE was my point. Most recognize the importance of core skills. Sadly, there are some (refer to my bell curve explanation above) who either don’t recognize the threat, or just refuse to accept it. I bet there are examples of this type of cop in every dept. from the Fed. level right down to the smallest of PD’s. Everybody has one (or a few)…

    By lcso264 on Jun 14, 2012

  31. Cops consistently tend to be in the category of the worst shooters who carry guns as a matter of employment for regularly for CCW.

    By John P. on Jun 14, 2012

  32. John P — Based on what? I find the average CCW holder (which is much different than “the average CCW who goes to the range to practice”) worse than the average police officer by a fair margin. The poorly trained CCW guy often has a day or less training compared to police officers who frequently get one or more dedicated weeks. As mentioned above, the police also tend to get FOF experience, low light shooting experience, judgment training, etc.

    By ToddG on Jun 14, 2012

  33. I’m curious about mirror image shooting. I remember a ProArms podcast about the subject. Is this not a useful drill or skill? Maybe it’s never used in practice?

    By Bryce S on Jun 14, 2012

  34. Bryce — I know some instructors, including at least one guy I respect highly, who advocated mirror shooting under some circumstances. Personally, I’m not fond of it for a variety of reasons.

    First, I’ve yet to see someone do it under stress, such as in FOF, unless they had some way of knowing they were completely immune to being shot at while the made the switch and got set up.

    Second, I either need to accept that my mirror technique is going to be worse (slower, less accurate) or I need to put a lot of training time into it… time that could be better spent improving my normal technique which I’m far more likely to need.

    Third, it’s not enough simply to get decent at hitting a target from a mirror position. All the things that we think are important skills — flashlight techniques, reloads, malfunction clearances, etc. — need to be practiced from the mirror position, too. Otherwise, when you go into mirror mode, you’re not prepared for things that you otherwise thought were important.

    Finally, I’m not a believer that it has a significant benefit in terms of using cover. That’s easier to demonstrate that explain, though.

    By ToddG on Jun 14, 2012

  35. Thanks, ToddG!

    If we’re listing qualifiers, here’s a thread about an Iowa LE academy qualifier. I cannot confirm if it’s the real deal.

    http://glock.pro/training-tactics/4208-iowa-range-qualification-test.html

    By Bryce S on Jun 15, 2012

  36. http://nmlea.dps.state.nm.us/documents/Reference_Guide.pdf

    Page 86 in your PDF reader gives you the firearms requirements for the state. Note that 80% on both day and night shoots is required to pass.

    I didn’t see it in the target rules, but head shots need to be inside a business card sized box (when the targets were designed, the master instructor used his standard business card for the dimensions)to count. If you mash a head shot and put one in the tip of the nose or the lips, it is counted a miss. The course of fire has also been modified so that the failure drills are shot first and the head shots are scored independently.

    Pat

    By Pat on Jun 15, 2012

  37. This was an extremely thoughtful post and the comments are top-notch as well. Let me just add that qualified, confident shooters are less likely to accidently hit some innocent third party than are shooters whose training was deficient.

    I live in an area in which our largest LE agency apparently has recently implemented an unofficial policy of no longer hiring “gun guys,” and downgrading firearms training. I can’t help wonder if we aren’t going to see a spike in civilians being shot in the future.

    As for all you LE firearms instructors, thank you for your service and your efforts to push for top notch training. I personally like the idea that when someone is carrying a weapon he or she is thoroughly competent in using it.

    By SteveJ on Jun 15, 2012

  38. As a FI I have read this and it has proviked some thought. Because of my position I can not identify my employer, sorry. First I am extremely lucky I have a chain of command that recognizes and demands hard training. Second my agency has one of the best training facilites in the country. Our officers are required to shot a minium of 4 times a year. I am not bragging just prefacing what I am going to say next.
    1. I am sick of “Tactical Shooting” shooting is shooting I agree that the old PPC COF don’t prepare for close range gunfights, but the use of the word “Tactical” has gone to an extreme.
    2. We need to go back to the basics, Fundamentals, and help our officers understand how to apply them in the particular situation they find themself in.
    3. We also need to get away from the old belief that officers need to leave training feeling good about themselves. I am not saying trash them but always winning will lead to unrealistic expectations of the officers abilities.
    4. Even if your agency has to perform to the state level, add an internal COF. Let the officers shoot it a couple of times take an average of thhe scores and use that as your first passing score. After a year raise your standard of performance, number of hits or lower the time availabe.
    I know this has been a ramble and I apologize for spelling errors. The last thing I will acknowledge is qualification is not training. However training fundamentals can be added into qualification. We have this and more and it has resulted in a 75% hit ratio in our shootings and we have more than a few each year.
    To all instructors out there keep up the good work and keep pushing the limits of your students and raising the standards. Thanks.

    By one dude on Jun 17, 2012

  39. Todd,

    Can you post the qualification course you mention in the original post? The “good” one.

    thanks,

    By John Hearne on Jun 17, 2012

  40. ToddG said: “John P — Based on what? I find the average CCW holder (which is much different than “the average CCW who goes to the range to practice”) worse than the average police officer by a fair margin.”

    Based on nearly 20 years of experience… in law enforcement

    By John P. on Jun 17, 2012

  41. As someone whose former employer basically only used the CA POST qual annually, but who had an excellent instructor take an interest in the Academy (and who went beyond the mandated curriculum in spare time, when we finished the mandatory qual early), I wish the FIs/RMs at the agency had been able to use a little more imagination in the range time.
    When I left the agency, we were on track to shoot ~100rds through our service weapons…all year. 3x 30rd range days, plus at most 10rds through the shotgun, once. All stationary, in daylight. Probably at 3, 7, and 15 yards.

    But the POST standard qual is (to my memory, it’s been a couple years now)
    3yd: 6-reload-6 from retention hold, in ~30sec
    7yd: 6-reload-6 2-hands, standing, in ~30sec
    15yd: 6-reload-6, 2 hands, IIRC standing, in ~45sec.
    25yd: 6-reload-6, 2 hands, in IIRC ~45sec-1min
    Usually shot in broad daylight. When I did Reserve classes early on, the instructor had us do 15yd from kneeling and 25yd from a prone.
    Then a later Academy instructor (the good one) had us shooting 50yd from standing, after some 3yd aimed-fire speedwork, and some reload drills, some intro-to-movement, etc.

    But a lot of cops I knew then wouldn’t shoot their service weapon except at mandatory range time. I was contemplating getting an identical piece(Glock 22C with M3 light) so I could practice without putting wear on a department weapon that I wasn’t authorized to repair. Still didn’t get enough training–and more importantly, practice!–in, though.

    By Andrew E. on Jun 17, 2012

  42. At my job we are required to shoot the KS-CPOST qual once per year to maintain LE certification. I know several agencies that deu to unavailablity of range time only do that and no more.
    The local SO had thier range shut down due to some really smelly politics and went without a range for a few years until they could build another one.

    When I hire one we used to shoot quarterly, now it’s twice a year, two full days per year.

    We do shoot quite a bit more on our mandated range days than the vast majority of other agencies that I have spoken to. We require 75% on the CPOST course for our troops the keep their jobs, KS only requires 70% to keep an LE certification. We up it to 85% for the SWAT guys, 90% for the FIs.

    We have an extensive range program in the academy, and an entire week of tactics/tactical stuff using Sims and airsoft for FoF.

    Although I think we should be doing more training than we do, I have to note that we had a string of OISs for awhile where we had 100% hits. Not all great hits, but hit none the less.
    We normally run better than 50% historically, with a few exceptions (in one case the copper was ambushed, got one hit out of six before running dry, but it’s hard to shoot a K frame in the dark, one handed, while falling to the ground, after being shot in both legs and having a broken femur).

    We still shoot to the 25 for qual with pistols, and back to the 50 or 100 in training. I continue to be shocked at how many people no longer shoot past the 15 and think they are GTG because of “FBI stats”.

    By Chuck on Jun 18, 2012

  43. In case anyone was wondering;

    http://www.kscpost.org/firearms.htm

    I’m not a huge fan of this course as it was obviously set up to be snubby neutral due to also being our HR218 compliant retired officer CoF.

    I do think that it is a decent BUG course for quals.

    It can also be played with. Examples; Run all 3/5/7 yard strings as failure drills, keep all hits in the appropriate circle (we use the IALEFI-Q target, mandated by CPOST, but we use the Manny Kapelsohn with a gun overlay version to obscure the “milk bottle” scoring area).
    Score hit’s in the circles greater than for the rest of the milk bottle, and add negative points for shots that don’t hit “meat”.
    Deduct time from each string of fire.
    Run the CoF from concealed carry.
    Etc.

    I think it’s easier to justify in court running the state mandated qual and variations of it to make it more difficult than it is to just dump the qual and make up your own.

    I am talking the actual “qual” here, not training, two different things IMHO.

    By Chuck on Jun 18, 2012

  44. Great thoughts. As a former FI Sgt. for a 350 man department I fought to “force” officers to come to training 4X a year, provided them 100 rounds a month to practice with and worked on fundamentals for shooting in situations that really occured. We used FX scenarios to give them experience at being shot at and returning fire under pressure. All the time my staff and I got imense grief, not just from the Admin, but officers who felt we were trying to get them fired. We got tired of the fight, got no support from Admin (who felt we were being way to aggresive in teaching shooting under pressure skills) and after I retired, they dropped training back down to 1X a year. I was amazed at how many officers breathed a sigh of releif that they didn’t “have” to go to the range so often….

    That being said, after 3 OIS investigations were completed, to a man the officers involved came and thanked us for giving them the skills to survive and to protect themselves. One became a FI just prior to his shooting as during one of our classes he recognized he needed to improve. A year later he was in his shooting. Despite being hit, he returned fire and dispatched two suspects.

    As ToddG has expressed, Qualification is just Qualification, not real training. If your training is just teaching them to pass the qualification, you are not doing them service. Many of the new “improved” qualification courses do have some merit and are a step in the right direction.

    Thanks for pushing the issue of making training more realistic.

    By KennyT on Jun 21, 2012

  45. Three COFs will get it done. These are what my agency uses.

    1. FBI Pistol Qual.
    2. Paul Howe Pistol Standards
    3. Fairfield Drills

    If you can do those, you know how to operate your pistol. However, never confuse qualification and weapon manipulation with gun fighting. They are worlds apart.

    By Marcus on Jun 29, 2012

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