Do LEOs have their own set of safety rules?


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GunGoBoom
September 22, 2005, 09:38 AM
After the astounding story of the tragic death of the LEO trainee recently, in which 2 of the 4 basic rules of gun safety were blatantly violated (apparently repeatedly and under the SOP/training policy), I have to ask, do LEOs in training environments (or otherwise) consider themselves exempt from the 4 rules, due to their training? I'm not asking to be smart-alek; I'm truly interested to know whether they focus on and hammer the 4 rules (they were the 3 rules in the old days), or not? Because it's just amazing to me that the police training scenario in question in the other thread could have so blatently violated the fundamental rules of safety (repeatedly). Would that cavalier attitude be the exception or the rule in police training scenarios across the US?

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OH25shooter
September 22, 2005, 10:38 AM
Do LEOs have their own set of safety rules?
Yes...SAFETY-SAFETY and more SAFETY! I can only speak regarding my department. The officer count is 1700 + and the range officers watched all very carefully. During qualification shooting as many as 30 officers could be on the line. Instructions were firm, clear and followed carefully. Now, with that said, accidents do occur. They occur because some officers do not engage their brain when handling a gun. Never heard of an instructor with 'live' ammo during demonstrations and if he did, he never unholstered his weapon until the line was ready. Just recently, a small suburban department (@ 80 officers) had a firearm instructor accidently shoot another officer in the chest. Scary. Don't have a clue how or why that happened. Accidents do occur. I'm very cautious shooting at civilian ranges. Most shooters are safe. But, we all have to admit, some are careless and not seasoned shooters.

SASS#23149
September 22, 2005, 10:39 AM
At our range one day a leo was shooting at a box on the hard ground about half way to the berm.there are signs everywhere saying NOT to do this,that all targets are to be placed at the berms.Our 'neighbors' are very close around us even though it's in the country a bit.
Sure seem like a lot of them make the news these days after shooting them selves.tragic,but really stoooopid.

armoredman
September 22, 2005, 10:44 AM
Our safety rules are inflexible, and a violation will get you tossed off the range - period.

Steve in PA
September 22, 2005, 11:04 AM
I just qualified the second half of my dept this week and one (of the many) things that are gone over and over is safety.

The story about the instructor is tragic proof that even instructors can become complacent and screw things up. And yes, I used that story in my presentation.

Molon Labe
September 22, 2005, 11:18 AM
Well there's safety, and then there's safety. It is certainly possible for safety to be over-emphasized. It is impossible to be maximally safe and maximally effective at the same time.

Now hear me out...

I am very anal when it comes to safety during live fire training. I have no tolerance for anyone who violates one of the Four Rules during training. But when it comes to a real defensive situation, efficiency and effectiveness should be the first priority, and safety should be the second priority.

harvester of sorrow
September 22, 2005, 11:59 AM
Just remember, when it comes to handling and being really, really, REALLY familiar with weapons, there are two kinds of people:

Those who have had a negligent discharge.....
And those who are going to have a negligent discharge

and when that happens, luck (and following rule two) will HOPEFULLY keep it from having tragic consequences. If you've never had one, great, and I hope you never do. But, if you think "Ha! Jerks! That won't happen to me because I'm TOO GOOD!" well.........remember rule number two.

M-Rex
September 22, 2005, 12:20 PM
Our safety rules are inflexible, and a violation will get you tossed off the range - period.

This is how it was at the department I worked at.

Henry Bowman
September 22, 2005, 12:23 PM
Well there's safety, and then there's safety. It is certainly possible for safety to be over-emphasized. It is impossible to be maximally safe and maximally effective at the same time. Well stated! I agree completely.

Wichaka
September 22, 2005, 12:34 PM
We have the 4 basic rules as eveyone should live by..........nothing different.

nyresq
September 23, 2005, 03:44 AM
yes, same rules, normally enforced by threats of suspension and disiplinary action if violated.

all except for the guy with the glock- "I am the only one in this room professional enough to handle this *BANG*....." :eek:

best cop video I've ever seen :D :D :D

chopinbloc
September 23, 2005, 04:22 AM
i don't know about the police but the army has some issues. while safety policies are strictly enforced on the range, the four rules usually aren't taught. nor are they followed by most soldiers. troops are usually pretty good about keeping their fingers off their triggers but muzzle awareness is terrible. the atmosphere is horrible as well. if i object to being constantly swept by someone's muzzle, i get a derisive stare and, you guessed it: "it's not loaded." the army has its share of NDs and the only thing that can change it is if we adjust our attitude throughout the institution. it wouldn't bother me nearly as much if the response was something like "man, i'm sorry, i'll control my weapon." but the most common attitude is that I'M the jackass for bringing up such an "unimportant" issue.

MikeIsaj
September 23, 2005, 08:50 AM
The rules are the same, it's the expertise that doesn't always match the assumptions. The false assumption is that a person who carries a weapon professionally is an expert at handling and using that weapon. That's not always true. They are as prone to bad habits and complacency as anyone else. Not bashing them, just telling the truth.

harvester of sorrow
September 23, 2005, 11:32 AM
The false assumption is that a person who carries a weapon professionally is an expert at handling and using that weapon.

While that is true in some cases, in this specific case (and in reference to my earlier post), my point is that even an "expert" in handling and using weapons can have a negligent discharge. All people fall into one of two categories: gun people, and non-gun people.

Non-gun people, especially when they carry a gun as a part of their job, are likely to have negligent discharges due to situational stress or unfamiliarity with what they're doing. Gun people, on the other hand, are likely to have negligent discharges due to overfamiliarity and complacency. Gun people load and unload weapons all the time, they handle guns, they dry fire, they practice drawing, etc. There is NO mystical point of experience and knowledge that will make you "immune."

Fed168
September 23, 2005, 05:18 PM
The four basic rules are the same over and over. Can't repeat them enough. As for training with empty weapons, we check them three times before using them in training. Three different people check the weapon and person to make sure they do not have any ammunition or magazines.

Double Naught Spy
September 23, 2005, 07:05 PM
I am glad to know so many of you work for departments with absolute and inflexible gun safety rules. Sadly, those rules rarely seem to transfer to real life from the confines of the academy or range. I assume that all the cops I see on TV doing really stupid and unsafe things with their guns are not from any of your departments.

What was it, San Diego or San Francisco where officers on multiple sides of a vehicle shot into the vehicle as it lurked toward an officer. The suspect didn't have a gun and yet an officer still managed to get shot.

I think it was the same incident where a camera crew was filming an officer scanning the surrounding houses with his pistol. He turned to see the camera crew and yells at them to move back, the whole time gesturing with his pistol to make his point that they needed to move.

As a matter of circumstance, SWAT teams often manage to scan one another with guns on entry. Heck, Lubbock's sniper managed to shoot his own man in the head, killing him. Several hundred rounds were fired into the suicidal man's house where they were about to make entry. Not a single officer ever had the suspect in his sights as the suspect was hidden in a closet at the time and yet teams on both sides of the house opened up.

Arlington, Texas, SWAT training officer shot another in the head with a pistol loaded with real ammo, not simmunition. This was only after the simmunition rifle failed to fire. The moron hadn't switched out his duty gun with a simmunition gun and so he killed a long time buddy for his snafu.

My impression is that it gets taught, but then once many of the officers become proverbial gun experts, the safety rules seemingly no longer apply.

Of course I realize it is NOT that way with all officers or departments. I am just commenting that there are way too many officer friendly fire, often friendly officer training fire incidents that should never have happened. And of those folks like me know about, we never get any news on all those incidents where the friendly fire shots simply missed, but still managed to endanger officers.

Andrew Rothman
September 23, 2005, 08:14 PM
Just remember, when it comes to handling and being really, really, REALLY familiar with weapons, there are two kinds of people:

Those who have had a negligent discharge.....
And those who are going to have a negligent discharge

Aw, crap, not this nonsense again!

We've been over this here (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=148884), and here (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=156232&page=2), and here (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=130000).

You keep NDs from happening by obeying the four rules. You keep them from hurting someone by obeying any three.

Fed168
September 23, 2005, 08:43 PM
Having been on the receiving end of friendly fire, I can't stress it enough.

What made it worse is that the person in question was one who should have known better, whom just finished two days of firearms training.

Safety equals safety and so on. No real excuses for NDs- folks not paying attention and getting lax in gun handling.

harvester of sorrow
September 23, 2005, 10:50 PM
You keep NDs from happening by obeying the four rules. You keep them from hurting someone by obeying any three.

You're right. It can't happen to you....as long as you follow the four rules. Good luck with that, I hope you continue your success.

Boss Spearman
September 23, 2005, 11:05 PM
The guys at the local range I took both of my NRA courses from are members of the Sheriff's department, and they take safety and following the rules very seriously.

Andrew Rothman
September 24, 2005, 01:28 PM
You're right. It can't happen to you....as long as you follow the four rules. Good luck with that, I hope you continue your success.

Following rules is not a matter of luck, but of mindfulness.

Steelcore
September 24, 2005, 01:57 PM
They tell each other not to take too big of a bite out of that donut.Don't wanna choke,y'know. 8-)

harvester of sorrow
September 24, 2005, 02:18 PM
Yes, except a negligent discharge isn't the result of "deciding" to not follow the four rules...it's when you think you are, but you aren't. The hoary platitude about having negligent discharges may, in fact, BE a hoary platitude, but that doesn't reduce it's validity.

Anyways, I think you're misunderstanding me. My point is that when we hear about a ND, especially a tragic one like the one we're discussing here, sometimes our tendency is to dismiss the person who committed it as being "inexperienced," or "insufficiently trained," or as "just not knowing what the hell he's doing." Sometimes, this is the case, but I would bet that in this case, this instructor in Georgia is every bit as qualified and knowledgeable as most on this board are. Negligent discharges WILL happen to you unless you guard against it all the time. Thinking "that could NEVER happen to me," is counterproductive, thinking "I'd better be more vigilant so that that DOESN'T happen to me," is better.

Destructo6
September 24, 2005, 03:24 PM
I'm at FLETC in New Mexico and in our ranges/firearms training, safety is taken very very seriously.

Before an instructor dry fires a weapon for stration, he clears it and has several students verify that it is unloaded. Only then would he dry fire and even then it is into a dirt berm.

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