Marksmanship: Police vs. civilian


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jpruitt
August 29, 2008, 10:39 AM
Can anyone point me to any statistics regarding how often police hit their target in real life shootings vs how often civilians hit?

% of hit for police vs % of hits for civilians.

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csmkersh
August 29, 2008, 11:05 AM
*


I don't have info on percentage of hits civilian versus police, but Cato Policy Analysis No. 284 (http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=1143&full=1) by Jeff Snyder states the cops are 11 times more likely to shot the wrong person than a "civilian."*



Consider, for example, an argument that is not made by opponents of licensing laws but that they could also use to suggest that citizens' carrying arms will result in needless deaths. The police, who are "extensively trained" in the use and security of their weapons, mistakenly kill about 330 innocent citizens a year. [77] How many more wrongful deaths, then, might one expect at the hands of poorly trained permit holders? Although the argument exhibits the same logic, opponents of licensing laws do not seize on it. Doubtless that is due in part to the fact that it does not show the police in too favorable a light, yet it is upon them that the opponents of licensing laws are asking us to rely when they try to disabuse us of the notion of relying also on ourselves. But a more telling reason is that the information is actually available to refute it. In fact, gun owners mistakenly kill about 30 innocent persons a year, one-eleventh of the number killed by police. [78]





*When did the word civilian's definition change to mean police, firefighters and military rather than just military?

UhKlem
August 29, 2008, 11:16 AM
I think the situation that Jeff Snyder refers to has more to do with the fog of war and the mindset of police once guns are drawn rather than marksmanship (which I assume the percentage of hits question relates to).

Armed civilians have no ambiguity as to who the bad guy is, who the property owner is, and the circumstances that led up to the confrontation.

This is one of the risks an armed CCW defender faces after drawing a gun in public: to many cops drawn gun always spells 'bad guy'. Plainclothes or UC cops face a similar risk.

I believe Massad Ayoob had some anecdotal (or maybe even statistical) info that when departments adopted full capacity semi-autos after revolvers, the hit percentage went down. It might have been the Illinois State Police.

everallm
August 29, 2008, 11:23 AM
+1 on

*When did the word civilian's definition change to mean police, firefighters and military rather than just military?

Apart from annoying the hell out of me as an ex-squaddie it also fosters a "Them and Us and Us is special" mentality

ge0624me
August 29, 2008, 11:25 AM
i know that the majority ,of cops get alot more training, in real life confrontational mock's vs the avererage civilian, when i say average, i dont mean ,Todd jarret ,or Doug koeneg, etc, i mean the guy that that goes out to the range and punches holes in paper like me...

Tommygunn
August 29, 2008, 11:26 AM
I can't remember where I read this and thus cannot give you the source or a URL, but I read of an F.B.I. study which indicated than police hit the wrong person (or mistakenly shot someone) in 11% of the cases in which shots were fired.Comparing this to civilian cases in which shots were fired ordinary civilians shot the wrong person in 2% of the cases.
It is important to remember:
(A.) In most defense cases no shots are fired, and,
(B.) As UhKlem pointed out before, a lot can be explained by "the fog of war." Consider: in your house, you know who is supposed to be there, and if you see a stranger with a gun skulking around after hearing the sounds of a break-in, you can be fairly sure he is the bad guy.
Police, OTOH, get dispatched via radio with only a sketchy report often reported via a code number, sometimes possibly with inadequate or possibly misleading information, and even if it's good by the time the police arrive, things may change. If they have to look into a house, and see a man skulking around, is that the robber, or is it the homeowner who's armed himself and is (possibly foolishly according to some defense theories) searching for the bad guy himself??
The point is the people on the scene itself will possibly have a far better idea of what's going on than the police, who nevertheless are charged with preserving the peace and taking down the criminal.
So I am not going to pretend we should bash the police. The have a tough job and are rarely if ever rewarded properly when they do get it right.

Smokey Joe
August 29, 2008, 12:09 PM
*When did the word civilian's definition change to mean police, firefighters and military rather than just military? Can't tell you just when the change occurred, however, police and firefighters, every bit as much as the military, need a word to differentiate between "those who are in on the training, know the radio codes, and of whom we know what to expect" and "those who will act however they will act, and who we can expect to have less training--and skills--than ourselves."

What better word is there for the "untrained, unpredictable, unskilled," than "civilian"? In the sense of "one who is not in our uniform."

The word, when referring to a person, originally meant "an ordinary citizen." Isn't that how firefighters and police--as well as military--are using it?

I suggest that we not get upset by the generalization of a word; it happens all the time in most living languages, English more so than most.Apart from annoying the hell out of me as an ex-squaddie it also fosters a "Them and Us and Us is special" mentality"We" ARE special! We're on "the home team" and "they" are not! Some of "them" like us and support us, but some of them lie to us, commit crimes, set fires, shoot at us, etc, etc.

And there is no use crying out against the generalization of a word (military types disliking firefighters and police using the word "civilian" in the present instance) because it is going to happen whether or not we like it. That's part of what people speaking languages do.

BTW, not that it makes any difference, but in a perfect world, what common, easily understood word would you have firefighters and police use in reference to the general populace, instead of "civilian?"

Headless
August 29, 2008, 12:16 PM
What better word is there for the "untrained, unpredictable, unskilled," than "civilian"???


You really think that all 'civilians' are untrained, unpredictable, and unskilled (all 3? Really?) and that all 'non civilians' which you now imply would be any firefighters, police, military personnel are trained, skillful and predictable? What a pile of donkey feces. I'd love to see how a firefighter, simply by being a firefighter, is any better skilled, trained, and more predictable in their actions when they need to shoot a thug who's trying to bust in my front door than I am. Are all civilians without any training? The last I saw there were numerous schools available to civilians that relate to self defense and weapon familiarization.

BTW, not that it makes any difference, but in a perfect world, what common, easily understood word would you have firefighters and police use in reference to the general populace, instead of "civilian?"

How about they call police 'police officer', firefighters 'firefighters', military personnell 'military personell', and other people...uh.. gee, this IS hard. How about "an individual", "a suspect", "a Person", "a citizen", "a witness", "the intruder", "the assailant", "a victim",...depending on which fits the best.

Shung
August 29, 2008, 12:18 PM
you should see how mainy "unskilled" civilan I know... they would beat the hell out of most cops I shot with..

Checkman
August 29, 2008, 12:23 PM
I wondered if this thread was going to become a gripe session about cops using the word civilian. Which is why I no longer use it. I will use either citizen or perhaps private citizen.

Seems to keep most people happy.

yeti
August 29, 2008, 12:29 PM
"We" ARE special! We're on "the home team" and "they" are not! Some of "them" like us and support us, but some of them lie to us, commit crimes, set fires, shoot at us, etc, etc.


I hope I missed the sarcasm in that, otherwise that is just a frightening statement.

Frog48
August 29, 2008, 12:32 PM
however, police and firefighters, every bit as much as the military, need a word to differentiate between "those who are in on the training, know the radio codes, and of whom we know what to expect" and "those who will act however they will act, and who we can expect to have less training--and skills--than ourselves."

Uh, we already have a plethora of terms for them... "peace officers", "first responders", etc.

Old Dog
August 29, 2008, 01:04 PM
So, I'm curious ... is the ultimate purpose of this thread to display the "fact" that private citizens shooter shoot fewer innocent people than law enforcement officers? Or that non-LEO gun-owners can be more proficient marksmen than LEOs? That the term "civilian" is always mis-applied on the internet and that all non-military people are civilians?

And the obligatory 11% Snyder "statistic." Let's not trouble ourselves with the fact that cops respond to at least 11 times more incidents where bad people have guns they just may want to use against the cops.

you should see how mainy "unskilled" civilan I know... they would beat the hell out of most cops I shot with.. Knew someone would come up with this one ... Yep, but how many of your "unskilled civilian" acquaintances are responding in the middle of the night to situations where people are shooting back at them?

Yet another senseless thread pitting the anti-cop faction against those that may have actual experience. But, let the games go on ...

Smokey Joe
August 29, 2008, 01:18 PM
You really think that all 'civilians' are untrained, unpredictable, and unskilledOf course not; it's a collective term, a generalization. Like all generalizations, it isn't going to fit perfectly. But again, like all generalizations, it has its usefulness.Uh, we already have a plethora of terms for them... "peace officers", "first responders", etc.I thought we were talking about a general term for the NON peace officers, first responders, etc.

Firefighters, dealing with a fire or a traffic collision--in other words, doing what their team does--know what to do more so than the general populace. They are trained and predictable; the general populace is not.

Police, dealing with a break-in, a teen-ager in the park high on drugs, a rabid dog, an erratic driver, a child molester, speeders, a bar brawl, etc, etc, etc--in other words, doing what their team does--know what to do more so than the general populace. They are trained and predictable; the general populace is not.

In either case, a specific member of the general populace may be specifically well-equipped and trained to handle the particular emergency at hand. But we aren't all police. We aren't all firefighters. And we aren't all military. Those of us who are not in uniform, who are not specially trained for emergencies, who are not part of the team set up to deal with those, are ordinary citizens. Civilians. (Please, check the original meaning of the word.)

I do not mean in any way whatsoever to denigrate the heroism and the sacrifices of military personnel, past or present--quite the contrary, I honor and respect them. Likewise police and firefighters--heroism and sacrifice there aplenty as well, in addition to simple every-day just making thing run smoother, and I honor and respect them for that as well.

I also never meant to denigrate those exceptional private citizens who are ready to defend their homes & loved ones, and who take the time and trouble to learn, train, and maintain preparedness to do this.

There IS a special word for former military, which I don't think will ever refer to any but those honored persons: VETERAN.

jpruitt
August 29, 2008, 01:25 PM
So, I'm curious ... is the ultimate purpose of this thread to display the "fact" that private citizens shooter shoot fewer innocent people than law enforcement officers?

I had overheard someone at the gun store claiming that non-LEOs (is that better than civilian?) missed their target less often in actual gun fights than LEOs. That seemed hard to believe, so I wondered if anyone knew of any statistics that could either support or refute that claim-that was the ultimate purpose of this tread.

Sorry if I started any trouble here.

CWL
August 29, 2008, 01:35 PM
There are 400 million Americans now right? Every one of them is going to shoot differently, whether LEO or Joe-citizen.

You can't lump shooters into 2 groups only. What about LA SWAT v. 2-member police force? Do Feds count like FBI bank robbery task force, or US Marshall fugitive recovery? These guys all will differ from regular patrol cops.

Their chance for armed encounters will also differ.

Just way too many variables.

Hook686
August 29, 2008, 01:53 PM
To me the term 'civilian' simply means 'ununiformed', as opposed to 'uniformed'. That the term expanded from military to include police and firefighter does not seem like a big deal to me, as I still view those folks as 'uniformed'.

Don't sweat the small stuff.

RP88
August 29, 2008, 01:56 PM
I have yet to meet a cop that was any better or worse than your average 'skilled' shooter. The same can be said for those who have been involved in violent altercations. Not even a cop knows how they will react or handle it until it actually happens, and the same can be said about the non-LEO shooters as well. Considering that alot of cops and non-LEOs alike only practice to keep from forgetting how to shoot or to keep their qualifications instead of trying to get better, there really isnt much of a solid skill gap to be shown between them.

Lady with a Gun
August 29, 2008, 02:01 PM
Jeff Cooper observed:

1. Criminals hit their target about 1 round in 10.

2. The police hit their target about 3 rounds in 10.

3. Civilian shooters hit their target about 9 rounds out of 10.

Cooper's observations do have the possibility of unintentional bias. Cooper may have only been utilizing statistics for experienced civilian shooters (experience competitive shooting, etc.)

Kragax
August 29, 2008, 02:01 PM
No doubt at any rate we are all citizens.

Norinco982lover
August 29, 2008, 02:15 PM
So we agree that it is in theory the same? The topic is simply too broad. Are CCW's in Texas more accurate than those from my state in KS? Idk. Interesting question. The answer is probably that cops are about the same as most CCW holders. Like anyone can even know that.

Phil DeGraves
August 29, 2008, 02:27 PM
i know that the majority ,of cops get alot more training,

You better check to see what that "training" consists of. Police officers are for the most part not interested in "training" only interested in "certification." Certification means they met some arbitrary minimum standard that often has nothing to do with reality.

What better word is there for the "untrained, unpredictable, unskilled," than "civilian"? In the sense of "one who is not in our uniform."

Typical arrogance. More often than not, I would prefer a civilian (of my choice) to back me up in a lethal confrontation than a run of the mill "trained" officer.

"We" ARE special! We're on "the home team" and "they" are not!

That says it all doesn't it. Civilians are too stupid to be allowed to wander around loose; we cower in fear until the big strong sheepdog policeman can come rescue us. What a bunch of baloney!
Must be having a bout of "badge fever."

Maybe 15% of the police (for whom I have the greatest respect) are actively going out and doing something. The rest are hiding for their entire shift.
(I got that statistic from "Police Chief" magazine.)

Phil DeGraves
August 29, 2008, 02:34 PM
At the Vermont Police Academy shoot in 2006 out of a field of about 80 "highly trained police shooters", from all over the country, there were two civilian employees of a police academy, a "Media Generalist" (think A/V nerd) and a custodian. The two civilians place 12th and 18th overall. So let's not here anymore about "Us vs. Them".

Erik
August 29, 2008, 03:05 PM
"Marksmanship" suggests technical shooting ability. There are some very good technical shooters in the public and private sectors.

But... technical shooting ability is only one component in gun fighting.

mgkdrgn
August 29, 2008, 03:12 PM
Personal observation ... "better training of police"

I wouldn't count on it.

My class at Front Sight two years ago, I was "muzzled" twice while on the range ... both times by cops. 0 times by the "civilians".

Phil DeGraves
August 29, 2008, 03:12 PM
But... technical shooting ability is only one component in gun fighting.

That's very true, but they rarely teach the other components at the police academy either.

And to be fair, one might well wonder if they should take up some of the rather limited time to do so. It would probably better serve the public if they taught a larger block of report writing.

Vern Humphrey
August 29, 2008, 03:15 PM
But... technical shooting ability is only one component in gun fighting.
Experience is the other. How many cops have actually been in a gun fight?

JImbothefiveth
August 29, 2008, 03:20 PM
believe Massad Ayoob had some anecdotal (or maybe even statistical) info that when departments adopted full capacity semi-autos after revolvers, the hit percentage went down. It might have been the Illinois State Police.
Some guy here has that as his signature, it actually went up.(Probably due to lighter trigger.)

c1ogden
August 29, 2008, 03:24 PM
If you are talking only about hitting the target, I have seen police numbers as low as 50% being considered good. Some places have mentioned numbers as low as 20% and some as high as 80%. This is what I pick up from talking to other firearms instructors, attending seminars, and what I read in the various police magazines. I don't know if anyone has ever compiled a national average.

The "civilian" numbers that I've seen were all above 50% and this holds with what I see when reading things like the Armed Citizen column in the American Rifleman. While I haven't studied it in depth, off the top of my head it appears that most civilian shootings are at significantly shorter ranges than most police shootings.

If you are talking about shooting the wrong person, the numbers I have heard have held steady over the past few decades. Cops seem to shoot the wrong person about 11% of the time and the citizens do so only 2% of the time. These numbers have been attributed to various studies over the past 30 or so years. This seems to make sense as we usually come along after the fight has started and we have no way of knowing who did what until after its over. I have personally broken up hundreds of fights and I've never known who started it and who needed to be locked up until after everybody was in cuffs and we started to interview witnesses.

Phil DeGraves
August 29, 2008, 03:46 PM
Up to 40% of police shootings involve "unarmed" offenders. However, many of those "unarmed" are driving cars trying to run over officers, so the police decision to shoot is usually found to be justifiable. Additionally, "furtive" movement by the suspect or the suspect ACTING like he is armed, will generally get him justifiably shot, even if he is not armed. The Hudspeth shooting is a good example, where the suspect went into an isoceles stance with a cell phone and got shot for it. Also, when suspects are equipped with toy guns, it goes down in the stats as "unarmed" as they were not actually capable of delivering a wound. Still makes the shoot justifiable, or at least it should.

TeamPrecisionIT
August 29, 2008, 05:40 PM
I would tend to think that seasoned officers (meaning 10 or more years of service), might have a better way of acting with the stress of a situation that involves pulling out your gun than the better of CCW'ers. For no other reason then they are more susceptible to it happening just due to the nature of their employment. They may not be better marksmen, they just might hold the gun steadier due to not being completely stressed out and shaking. Unfortunately for them, a lot of the private citizens have prior military experience (like me) and we have our own training and have experienced our own type of stress but are now just private citizens.

Damian

Werewolf
August 29, 2008, 06:10 PM
What better word is there for the "untrained, unpredictable, unskilled," than "civilian"? In the sense of "one who is not in our uniform."
How about non-LEO. Or better yet CITIZEN! That might help the cops remember who they're dealing with on a day to day basis.

There. Wasn't that easy...

Smokey Joe
August 29, 2008, 07:15 PM
Or better yet CITIZEN! That might help the cops remember who they're dealing with on a day to day basis.OK, I'll give you that that is indeed a better word for what we mean. However, don't expect the English language to change for us just because we think it ought to.

As to "them vs. us" feelings: It happens. It's inevitable. Any group you train with and spend time with will become "us," and everybody else will become "them." The nature of the group, or whether it's right or wrong to feel that way is immaterial--it happens, be "the group" a debating society, football team, rock band, ballet troupe, fire or police department, or the U. S. Marines. If it's never happened to you, if you don't believe me, try as an experiment, joining a community theater and helping to put on a play. After all those rehearsals, all that set painting, all that memorizing, all those hassles, culminating finally in the performance, you will discover that you have become part of an "us," and everybody else, including the chintzy grant granters, the audience, the advertisers, the theater owner, and the community at large, will be "them." Or sing in a church choir--in time, the same thing will happen, guaranteed. Frankly, I'd be worried about a police department whose members did NOT feel like an "us," i.e. a particular, well-trained, and mutually supportive group.

As to shootings, citizen or LEO, and statistics, may I respectfully suggest that each and every such incident is unique unto itself. Too many variables to try to compose meaningful statistics, except perhaps simple totals. Now, that doesn't mean that someone is not going to try to come up with some comparisons. I'm merely offering that those numbers, concerning something as unique and personal as being involved in a shooting, would be essentially meaningless.

As Winston Churchill observed, "Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result." (The Malakand Field Force, 1898)

tpaw
August 29, 2008, 07:43 PM
It would seem to me that the question should be how many shootings are licensed hand gun owners involved in, and how many shootings are the police involved it. Logically speaking, the group (non-LEO as opposed to LEO) who were involved in the most shooting incidents, would statically have the most mishaps involved. JMO

Werewolf
August 29, 2008, 07:50 PM
As to shootings, citizen or LEO, and statistics, may I respectfully suggest that each and every such incident is unique unto itself.Very true and like others have mentioned the battles cops get into are of a significantly different nature than those citizens get into. Cops go into battle not always knowing who the bad guy is. That alone makes it inevetible that they will sometimes shoot the wrong people.

Stuff happens as the saying goes. AND that's never gonna change.

jonmerritt
August 29, 2008, 07:53 PM
Sheesh.. no wonder it is us or them...us or we, don't gives a rats ^%#@ what you call us, we just do our best to get the job done.

Werewolf
August 29, 2008, 08:01 PM
Sheesh.. no wonder it is us or them...us or we, don't gives a rats ^%#@ what you call us, we just do our best to get the job done.IF you honestly believe it is that simple you may just be in the wrong profession.

Catherine
August 29, 2008, 08:06 PM
I recall those comments made by JEFF COOPER too. Thank you lady.

Most of the people that I know shoot better than policemen. They actually practice MORE! Some even 'compete' or used to compete but can't anymore due to their work schedule or a physical injury. Even my CLOSE retired and active police FRIENDS, back east, admit this. I know people who officially 'teach' CCW and compete out here. They say that most people shoot better than the police and KNOW their guns better too.

The only time that I have been swept by a muzzle was by a highway patrolman who was showing a lady how to shoot in an indoor range back east. I saw them do this twice - I spoke UP! NO clue what they did before I came on to the range. Between a county deputy, not my county, another person and I - we NIPPED that in the bud because the HP/teacher was VERY LAX in teaching this 'chick' how to shoot along with HER not listening/learning because what she needed was a REAL teacher or a freaking DRILL instructor. I have seen KIDS do better with safety measures when they were out here at our events. Children of our close Veteran friends of ALL ages along with the rest of our gun nut group. I have taught, I am NO official teacher, ladies who barely knew guns or only used them while in the USN - their qualification in boot camp. Those ladies did a LOT better than the HP man and his lady friend. I taught my friends ONE ON ONE and I was FIRM on safety rules/measures. I gave them my NRA book, other gun literature, showed them, was nice but firm, etc. They shot my 22LR and 357Magnum using 38Special Plus P S/A and D/A revolvers. My late husband was present along with the Mother of one of the ladies. YOU have to be firm on safety rules and NIP it in the bud in my NOT so humble opinion. You can still be NICE but if you don't get this straight from the gitgo on the direction of your muzzle among all of the other safety measures... you and the novice will be SCREWED or shot or someone else may get shot!

It is not complicated to call all of us citizens.

Military = military.

Civilian = NON military and ANYONE who is NOT in the military.

Firemen and EMTS are just that PLUS being civilians.

Police = police PLUS being civilians.

My late husband who would be 63 years old if still alive was a Veteran = military and he was in the Volunteer FD/EMT squad for almost his entire life in his home state. He taught, he was a Captain, he was secretary/treasurer and tons more. He taught other departments along with his regular NON government job. Our township assisted many other townships because we had a LARGE area to cover in FD/EMT volunteer work if needed. Rural, farm area with small towns, country roads, RR tracks, BIG highways and larger county roads in some places. (I was NOT on the squad. I along with other ladies helped in other ways at the FD/EMT station and out to the fires - coffee, food, etc.) He served in the military - USN and Air NG Fighter Wing for over 20 years. MOST military people including Veterans of ALL ages... do NOT appreciate anyone who is NOT military calling other people civilians. That is wrong - police people and any other group ARE civilians.

Military = military.

NON military = civilians.

It bothers me when people can't get this straight especially policemen and/or policemen who never even served in the military. If you served in the military and later on became a PEACE OFFICER... you are a CIVILIAN like the rest of us and I PREFER to be called a citizen or a lady... NOT a civilian UNLESS a military person is talking about all of us as citizens!

Catherine

TheGrim86
August 29, 2008, 08:16 PM
When a civilian fires upon an intruder, they "can't" really be wrong about the target. But an Officer isn't standing in the shadows observing a felonious act, preparing their action. They are sticking their heads in car windows at night when someone grabbing for a cellphone and is repeatedly told to stop keeps grabbing and pulls it out too quickly...well...you can use your imagination. Plus, the average citizen (or any citizen i know for that matter) probably doesn't pull a concealed weapon off of someone once a week, and isn't as "paranoid" about things. Not saying right or wrong, just stating why statistics are the way the are.

TAB
August 29, 2008, 08:21 PM
Lets just say, I know some officers that practice as if thier life depends on it. I know others that only fire ANY weapon in qualifing.

TheGrim86
August 29, 2008, 08:22 PM
For the "are police civilians?" conversation. If you can legally run away from an incident and go home and forget about it...I'd call you a civilian. Anyone else, your duties are different than that of a civilian. As an Officer, you are expected to act differently at the movie theatre when someone starts shooting. It's not saying a civilian can't act, it's that it's the DUTY of a police officer to act. And the idea of a cop off-duty is a civilian, isn't a reason. Every cop will tell you, even in their own policy, its 24/7 job.

ProficientRifleman
August 29, 2008, 08:22 PM
Bravo, Catherine!

Dittos!

I usually get deleted when I say it. But then, my sarcasm shows (sometimes).

God bless you, Catherine!

Grim, civilian policemen are NOT active duty military. They are CIVILIAN police officers.

Back on the original subject, most police that I know are not shooters. Their duty weapon is just another tool on their batman belt. I said most...some Peace Officers shoot recreationally, but they are in the great minority.

Shung
August 29, 2008, 08:29 PM
Knew someone would come up with this one ... Yep, but how many of your "unskilled civilian" acquaintances are responding in the middle of the night to situations where people are shooting back at them?

They don't get paid for that.. everyone has a task out there, and this is not theirs.. But I am pretty confident that most of them would act as they should if they had no choice..

But I must admit ONE thing.. Your cops are facing much more "bad guys" than ours.. ours make their day taking our money for parking 5 minutes late..

Jorg Nysgerrig
August 29, 2008, 08:32 PM
I can only imagine the tongue-lashing Catherine would have laid upon the poor kid at the video store who was helping me and said, "Sorry about all the drama, we hate when civilians see that" in regards to a woman who had left her ID the day before (and subsequently had it placed in the safe) chastising the manager because she didn't want to wait for the time lock to expire.

VegasOPM
August 29, 2008, 08:50 PM
How did a marksmanship posting turn into this?:uhoh:

I was hoping to get some input about LEO marksmanship versus non-LEO's. In my experience, just being a sworn officer has no positive effect on ability to shoot quickly, accurately and under stress. Training, practice and competition tend to make both LEOs and non-LEOs into more proficient marksmen.

Catherine
August 29, 2008, 09:22 PM
Quote:

I can only imagine the tongue-lashing Catherine would have laid upon the poor kid at the video store who was helping me and said, "Sorry about all the drama, we hate when civilians see that" in regards to a woman who had left her ID the day before (and subsequently had it placed in the safe) chastising the manager because she didn't want to wait for the time lock to expire.
~~~~~

Jorg,

I might correct the young man on his IMPROPER USE of the English language using the word 'civilian'. I would not be RUDE or give him a tongue lashing. Most of the time I am a VERY nice lady but you don't know me. Some other people on this board know me from before and after 1998 from back east and some know me HERE in Montana after my late husband died. Direct contact, not only email, from a telephone call or from the 'boards'. I might not even correct the young man directly if I was NOT in the mood or 'let it go'. I let go of many things in this life of mine.

I will tell you one thing. My GREAT Grandfather who was a NY policeman killed in the line of duty who left a widow and several children would not call CITIZENS 'civilians'. My late Grandfather who was in the military (Army - Cavalry.) who later on became a lawyer while supporting his widow Mother and helping his siblings would NOT be the 'type of person' to call CITIZENS 'civilians'. MOST of the peace officers that I knew as a kid growing up (1950 baby here.) did not call people those names. They did not call them law enforcement and correctional officers for police/peace officers and JAILERS either! Grin.

This is a relatively new expression from what I gather in X amount of years. It is like they used to call something x, y or z and NOW they have to give it some other name. Geesh.

WE are ALL citizens or legal immigrants. If you are not in that group - you are a criminal = illegal alien. Yes, that is the correct word for that NAME too. Look it up and it is the Politically Correct crowd that wants to call it something else.

It is the same deal for WANNABE military people because they NEVER volunteered for the military or were in the draft era. My late husband along with my family members were Volunteers not drafted folks and that included the Vietnam era. This word civilian has been misused in this day and age because:
A. People don't know their history.
B. People refuse to understand or speak the ENGLISH language.
C. It is a term for wannabes in any JOB profession including those who have NEVER SERVED in the MILITARY but want to dress up in their 'uniforms' that look para military - throw in those Blackwater, other mercenaries, contractors, etc.!
D. Just because someone wants to call me a civilian instead of a lady or a CITIZEN when they are NO more special than I am and a 'civilian' too --- that does not EXCUSE them being wrong or ignorant in this matter.
E. People who want to call us civilians when they are civilians in any JOB profession just want to make themselves Appear superior or special in my NOT so humble opinion. Guess what?! They put on their pants and skirts just like the rest of us! Grin.

Press 1 for English - NOT! English first!

Have a lovely evening, citizen.

Catherine

Catherine
August 29, 2008, 09:23 PM
P.R.,

Thank you. I want to ask you about a rifle sling. I will give you a call.

Catherine

Jorg Nysgerrig
August 29, 2008, 09:48 PM
Yet the proper use of the quote function still eludes you.

I doubt the clerk at the video was trying to assert his superiority.

It was a joke. Lighten up.

JoeSlomo
August 29, 2008, 09:52 PM
1. I have nothing but respect for law enforcement officers because they are doing a job that most of us are unwilling or incapable of doing. I do NOT have the patience or the temperament to put up with the lowest common denominators in our society on a daily basis. They do, and do a fine job to boot. Respect.

2. As with every publicly funded service, the goal of the administration is to complete the task using the least amount of funds possible. Hence, law enforcement will not get the training budget they SHOULD get because the public will NOT fund it. This applies just as well to our military where only "elite" units get a budget that comes even close to PROPERLY preparing the troops for the task at hand.

The Army marksmanship standard calls for a soldier to hit just over HALF of the targets presented for qualification.... HALF. That is NOT what I would call a "professional" standard, and soldiers ONLY have to meet this standard twice a year.

Our law enforcement brothers are caught in the same fiscal trap.

3. Standards have been LOWERED over the years due to "political correctness" and the admission of females into roles they were normally not in. I can't speak for law enforcement, but in the military millions of dollars are wasted creating infrastructure and programs to accommodate this political correct nonsense. That is money that could be used for further training those that actually meet the standards. I am sure this additional fiscal burden has effected our law enforcement community as well.

4. Your typical citizen, on average, probably has the luxury of positively identifying the threat more often than the LEO. IE, someone is breaking into the house, the car, or is in ones face. The LEO will often times be sent to the scene of trouble with a modicum of information and a vague description of the key players. This would make threat ID much more challenging and would increase the chance of misidentification.

As far as actual marksmanship when shots are fired? Our law enforcement, and every other public service agency, will only be as good as we the people are willing to make them. If we want highly trained professionals, than we need to be willing to pay for that training. Many supplement their professional training with personal funds, but those folks are special and truly committed. Many simply choose to meet the standard set forth in their profession, and these standards are a direct reflection of what the people are willing and capable of paying in taxes to fund a particular service.

When was the last time you saw a protest demanding higher taxes to fund law enforcement, or fire service, or EMT's?

MT GUNNY
August 29, 2008, 09:53 PM
Citizen: Citizenship is membership in a society, community, (originally that of a city or town but now usually for a country) and carries with it rights to political participation; a person having such membership is a citizen.

Civilian: A civilian under international humanitarian law is a person who is not a member of his or her country's armed forces. The term is also often used colloquially to refer to people who are not members of a particular profession or occupation, especially by law enforcement agencies, which often use rank structures similar to those of military units.

Catherine
August 29, 2008, 09:53 PM
Jorg,

Yes, the quote function must still elude me, perhaps it is disabled, perhaps it is my computer and maybe it is because I do NOT choose to use it, eh?

Should I salute you and click my heels too? Scratch that!

Catherine

Catherine
August 29, 2008, 09:56 PM
Back to marksmanship...

How many practice regularly or only have to qualify x amount of times a year or only once a year?

Catherine

orionengnr
August 29, 2008, 10:12 PM
BTW, not that it makes any difference, but in a perfect world, what common, easily understood word would you have firefighters and police use in reference to the general populace, instead of "civilian?"

Read "The Choirboys" by Joseph Wambaugh for the cynical answer...:rolleyes:

Mousegun
August 29, 2008, 10:23 PM
I, as a civilian, had charge of repairs of a police range that shared its time with my gun club.

After qualification exercises, I had a full time job patching things up.

Club members never caused a needed repair.

Admittedly this is not the norm. A club that shoots every week will by definition, be better than a group of LEOs that qualify two or three times a year and never shoot between.

All I can say is that if my life may depend on a firearm, I would be one of the best of the best.

sacp81170a
August 29, 2008, 10:25 PM
BTW, not that it makes any difference, but in a perfect world, what common, easily understood word would you have firefighters and police use in reference to the general populace, instead of "civilian?"

I would go with "non-sworn citizen". It's both legally correct and non-derogatory. The real difference is that I'm a "sworn" peace officer with specific powers granted on behalf of the state via that oath. The same goes for fire marshals, coroners, judges, prosecutors, etc. Some have arrest powers, some don't.

Vern Humphrey
August 29, 2008, 10:26 PM
How about non-LEO. Or better yet CITIZEN! That might help the cops remember who they're dealing with on a day to day basis.
A friend of mine was a battalion commander in Chicago during the riots in '68. He had a cop -- pretty high ranking -- try to order his troops around. When he told the cop he was in command, the cop tapped his rank insignia -- he wore stars.

My friend said, "Are you impersonating a Federal officer?"

The cop left immediately.:D

everallm
August 29, 2008, 10:32 PM
Seems I may have kicked off as bit of a firefight with my comments on nomenclature of function and duty for LEO's, which was not my intent.

To return to the original question on marksmanship.

For MOST (but not all) LEO's, a firearm is a tool that may be frequently drawn but rarely used. The majority of LEO's will only actively shoot their duty weapon as part of their mandatory periodic qualification. Dependent upon the department this may only once a year. As such marksmanship and familiarity will be limited at best

Specialist teams such as hostage rescue, anti-terrorism teams, SWAT or designated marksmen will necessarily, as part of their specific roles, need to practice and qualify far more frequently.

However, the vast majority of these LEO's weapons training will reflect the expected situations they will be called upon to attend so there will be an emphasis on CQB and marksmanship with a rifle will be 200 mts or less.

For MANY but not most non LEO's, who own more than a single firearm, shooting is a personal decision or pleasure and they will almost always shoot far more than a LEO.

Based on this they will be, if not necessarily inherently more accurate, more familiar with their weapons and more likely to be be reliable/accurate shooters.

This does not include the statistically significant population of non LEO's who bench shoot, IPSC or competitively shoot etc. They will by their very nature be better marksmen than all but a very very small percentage of LEO's.

I have deliberately not included the mental state that is required to deliberately pull a trigger on another human being with a small arm. Marksmanship counts for naught if you can't look them in the face and pull the trigger.

A LEO's training and mindset MAY be the differentiator in accuracy then.
It's a hell of a lot easier with a rifle, you can pretend their just a moving Figure 11 target at a distance.

Mauserguy
August 29, 2008, 10:36 PM
The range nearest my house is frequented by the local cops and by Marines from Camp Pendalton. The cops display unimpressive skills. They are roughly on par with the average civilian. The Marines, however, are good with headshots. They plug them with quiet confidence.
Mauserguy

tpaw
August 29, 2008, 10:36 PM
Most of the people that I know shoot better than policemen. They actually practice MORE! Some even 'compete' or used to compete but can't anymore due to their work schedule or a physical injury. Even my CLOSE retired and active police FRIENDS, back east, admit this. I know people who officially 'teach' CCW and compete out here. They say that most people shoot better than the police and KNOW their guns better too.

I've been an avid shooter all my life for both self satisfaction and competition.
Having spent 20 years with the NYPD, I regrettably agree with the above statement. I witnessed this for the first time when I was assigned to the firearms and tactics unit at the out door range in Rodman's Neck, Bronx, NY.
Don't get me wrong, there were many excellent shooters, quite a few very good shooters, but for the most part, the remainder of patrol force were in need of practice, lots of practice.

Kosh75287
August 29, 2008, 10:37 PM
S'funny.... When I hear the terms "untrained, unskilled, and unpredictable" in a sentence, it's not uncommonly with reference to my local police department.

tpaw
August 29, 2008, 10:38 PM
The Marines, however, are good with headshots. They plug them with quiet confidence.

The ammo is free, and they should be going for body mass, not the head...:rolleyes:

TRGRHPY
August 29, 2008, 10:58 PM
"As to "them vs. us" feelings: It happens. It's inevitable. Any group you train with and spend time with will become "us," and everybody else will become "them."""

My problem with that is that I agree that when you belong to a group you do have an "us vs. them" mentality. But for cops, that is not an acceptable attitude to have since you work for the citizens, or the "them" as you would refer to us. The police are a professional organization (or should be anyway), and should be above that type of mentality. If LEO's insist on an "us vs. them" then it should be US (law abiding citizens) vs. Them (criminals). I have witnessed first hand a few times where an officer was flat out lying his ass off and another officer arrived after the fact and backed up the other officer without ever hearing the other side of the story. The other situation was similar only it involved me, and I got pissed, and I wouldn't let it go and demanded that the shift supervisor arrive. They tried to intimidate me, told me that they would arrest me impound the vehicle and even arrest the witnesses that were with me who told him that he had the wrong person. So, no, the "us vs. them" is not ok or acceptable. Once again, LE is to enforce laws and assist the public whom they work for, and damn well better do it with respect to those they serve.

As far as marksmanship goes, there are people who can shoot well and those that can't. Putting on a badge does make a person a good marksman, so yes, there are officers who can't shoot for crap. Luckily the majority of officers are not involved in a shooting. As far as police shooting the wrong people...isn't knowing your target one of the 4 rules? If you shoot the wrong person, then you must've not assessed the situation correctly and take the time to correctly identify the threat.

tpaw
August 29, 2008, 11:10 PM
TRGRHPY writes:

LE is to enforce laws and assist the public whom they work for, and damn well better do it with respect to those they serve.

Ummmm......Won't make peace that way.......Respect goes both ways, non-LEO or LEO.



As far as marksmanship goes, there are people who can shoot well and those that can't. Putting on a badge does make a person a good marksman, so yes, there are officers who can't shoot for crap. Luckily the majority of officers are not involved in a shooting. As far as police shooting the wrong people...isn't knowing your target one of the 4 rules? If you shoot the wrong person, then you must've not assessed the situation correctly and take the time to correctly identify the threat.

I'm sure many officers wished they could have taken their time. Let's not Monday morning quarterback. Mistakes happen in all occupations where innocent people are injured or killed, that's the reality of it all. We are all human and subject to mistakes. We all have made them at one point or another, and will probbly make others as we go through life. Let's just hope they are small mistakes, and kept at a mininum.

Tom Servo
August 29, 2008, 11:37 PM
Slomo brings up a number of good points. I've seen some dreadful shooting on the part of LEO's. I've also seen some truly frightening safety/marksmanship issues with civilian "gun people."

I think we're just more inclined to notice when it comes from LEO's.

I've asked about police qualifications before, and while they vary, they all fall far short of what I'd consider acceptable (with the exception of the FAM quals, which are brutal). The plain fact is, back in the "old days," officers grew up shooting. There were alot more Bill Jordan types up until the 1960s.

In the modern world, it's quite normal for someone to show up at the academy having never handled a gun in their life before. There's a limited amount of time and budget the department can devote to training new shooters, so something has to give.

That usually means qualifications are made easier. It's the nature of bureaucracy.

Personally, I think qualifications should be much more stringent. Ammunition and range time (and possibly mentoring) should be given to officers as they think they need. Of course, this translates into money, which has to come from somewhere.

Thus the catch-22.

All this is easy for me to say, because I work a predictable 40-hour work week, with a normal sleep schedule. I'm not under the stress police officers encounter, so it's no big deal for me to make time a couple of times a week to shoot.

There are some great shooters in law enforcement, but that percentage is falling with time. I'd argue that they all need to be great shooters, but the sad fact is, they're not given the resources on an institutional level.

bwavec
August 29, 2008, 11:58 PM
I routinely shoot at a range that is also used by local law enforcement.

Several officers shoot regularly....and as a result shoot well. But unfortunately most officers only show up in the weeks prior to their certification.....and shoot poorly. (And they are regular and repeat violators of range safety rules.)

Several years ago, a traffic stop turned into a pursuit...which ended with the officers using a spike strip to deflate the car's tires. The officers (8) closed to within 25m of the suspect's vehicle. When he did not respond to their order to exit the vehicle, they opened fire. After over 100 rounds from issue sidearms (Glock .40cal), patrol shotguns and patrol carbines (M4s) were fired at the occupant, he opened the door and exited the vehicle......unscathed.

Officers were firing at the drivers side of the non moving vehicle from approx 25m, and the subject in plain view (no excessive window tint, etc). The car looked like swiss cheese with bullet holes from front to rear. I consider that an example of poor marksmanship and poor shot placement.

tpaw
August 30, 2008, 12:36 AM
Tom Servo, Post #64

Very well said Tom.

tpaw
August 30, 2008, 12:43 AM
BTW, not that it makes any difference, but in a perfect world, what common, easily understood word would you have firefighters and police use in reference to the general populace, instead of "civilian?"

Agent. Check out the definition. Just about covers the bases.

Officers'Wife
August 30, 2008, 12:47 AM
Gramps used to tell the story of 6 deputies trying to shoot a dog @ 75 yards with their service weapons. He shot it with his rifle without destroying the brain need for the rabies examination.

On the other hand there is a pistol range in Pulaski County Indiana where I watched a White County deputy make shots with a sidearm I would have said were impossible.

Bottom line, some police officers are well versed and professional with their tools. Others could care less as long as they can pass muster.

Selena

tpaw
August 30, 2008, 12:48 AM
Several years ago, a traffic stop turned into a pursuit...which ended with the officers using a spike strip to deflate the car's tires. The officers (8) closed to within 25m of the suspect's vehicle. When he did not respond to their order to exit the vehicle, they opened fire. After over 100 rounds from issue sidearms (Glock .40cal), patrol shotguns and patrol carbines (M4s) were fired at the occupant, he opened the door and exited the vehicle......unscathed.

Officers were firing at the drivers side of the non moving vehicle from approx 25m, and the subject in plain view (no excessive window tint, etc). The car looked like swiss cheese with bullet holes from front to rear. I consider that an example of poor marksmanship and poor shot placement.

Now that is one lucky culprit. Anything to document that situation? I would love to read the details of what actually happened.

Dan the Man
August 30, 2008, 12:50 AM
Well, getting back to the initial topic. Again. :) There is not a lot of information, especially regarding citizens' marksmanship. Here are a few interesting pieces of information:

1. Peace officers involved in violent encounters had a hit rate of 39-41% at an average range of 21-25 feet.

2. The assailants of peace officers involved in the same encounters had a hit rate of 68-91% at an average range of 14-15 feet. It was noted in the study that the average range was misleading, as one incident occurred at 70 feet (no hits). The majority of the incidents occurred at 0-10 feet. Police average distance was longer because the range increased as the encounter played out.

In the encounters studied, 90% of the time the assailant fired first. So, police officers had a hit rate of about 40% while under fire (sometimes wounded, sometimes fatally). The study notes that the assailants generally were 'point shooters' (didn't use sights), had been in previous gunfights, and practiced.

(note: above information from 'Violent Encounters' published by the FBI)

For citizens, data is sparse and wildly variable. Using BJS information, citizens use their guns for defensive purposes 62,300 times per year. In that time, they commit about 200 justifiable homicides. There are anywhere from 40 million to 80 million gun owners in the United States. In any year, approximately 19 million of them actually shoot the guns they own (i.e. go to a range or some place and pull the trigger...). I found no information on hit rates by citizens in violent encounters.

Continuing with justifiable homicides, citizens generally commit theirs while interrupting a crime. Peace officers generally commit theirs while stopping an assault.

I think one of the misapprehensions I see in this thread is the belief that citizens are better shooters than peace officers because of experience with both groups at the range. The average gun owning citizen doesn't go to the range, and doesn't shoot their gun. :eek: The fact that someone is at the range indicates they are already well above average for citizen gun owners.

I see a lot of comments denigrating peace officers' marksmanship, so I suggest a course of fire based on a friend's personal experience. In his first gunfight, he had 0% hits in 15 shots from a high-cap .45. Of course, looking back, he understands why and he has made adjustments. He has done better since. Anyway, you will need a friend. He will need a 12 gauge pump shotgun loaded with 7 1/2 shot. Place one B-27 target at 20 yards. Keep your gun at low-ready. You'll need a nearby barricade for cover. When your friend is ready, he should shoot you twice with a 12 gauge shotgun in the leg and back. You should then move to cover, and fire at the B-27 silhouette. Your friend should shoot you any time you expose part of your body outside the cover. I haven't tried this myself, because I note my friend has arthritis in the knee, hip, and hand from where he was shot. He still occasionally has surgery on his knee when a shot pellet works its way behind his kneecap. (note: please don't really try this. Its meant for illustrative purposes only.)

And so, summing up all this information (plus information from this thread and others like it)...I conclude:

The average peace officer is a better marksman than the average citizen gun owner.

The 'committed shooter' citizen gun owner is a better marksman than the average peace officer. By 'committed shooter', I mean one that actively participates in shooting sports, attends shooting schools on some frequency, and/or gets to the range once per month (or maybe every other month...I'm flexible).

Once you get to the kind of level described by 'committed shooter', I conclude there isn't a difference in marksmanship skill between citizens and peace officers. (i.e. a 'committed shooter' peace officer will, on average, shoot the same as a 'committed shooter' citizen).

At the very top end, I believe the best sport-shooters are citizens, not peace officers. I don't necessarily believe that those very best sport-shooters are better than the very best peace officers in a gunfight. That's one for more speculation. :evil:

Regards
--Dan

Catherine
August 30, 2008, 01:35 AM
I think that it depends on the INDIVIDUAL too and his or her skills. That goes for shooting up close and personal or far away. Hunting, swimming, boating under sail or power, running, hiking, you name it. Talent, practice and skill with the firearm of your choice or ANY other object aka TOOL.

I think that it depends on how much a person practices along with the SKILL of that person.

Some people can 'practice' often but they don't have the SKILL of a good gun man/lady because they keep repeating the same old mistakes.

Some people do not practice as a Citizen or legal immigrant.

They may only have to QUALIFY once a year, twice a year, etc.

Perhaps it is a physical problem or their eyes for the person although they have to pass a physical for most jobs including the military.

I shoot better with a handgun than I do with a rifle due to an old injury, bad fall, I rolled and screwed up myself, broken arm, weakness, arthritis, etc. I wear eyeglasses and have since the age of 5 years old. I now have bifocals but tend to be 'near sighted'.

I learned on a handgun and I PREFER a handgun.

I am NO expert but I can and would defend myself. I shoot for self defense reasons and I 'plink' too. I was taught for UP close and personal shooting = self defense. I don't hunt but I do go on hunts to observe. I prefer to fish.

Come to think of it, at my former outdoor range, at a bowling pin shoot, there was a policeman who shot pretty dang good. Of course, he practiced OFTEN and he even let me shoot his gun. Vice versa.

Some men and ladies are 'naturals' too. Great eyes, good vision in all ways, strong hands/arms, good REFLEXES, etc.

Catherine

Sunray
August 30, 2008, 02:47 AM
"...how often police hit their target..." Dunno. I do know that the days of cops being shooters before they got hired are long gone. Most of 'em, just like military recruits, have never seen any real firearm before they got hired. Their degree/education is more important.
When I shot ISU(same idea as NRA bullseye), long ago, we regularly shot circles around the TO cop team. Mind you, some of 'em would show up with their service revolver(long ago) to target shoot. No trigger job, no adjustable sights, etc. Good guys, for the most part, though.

Shung
August 30, 2008, 06:16 AM
Just one question Catherine. I know I am not in the USA, and maybe you have no words for that, but how would you call us swiss for example ? We are Citizens, or Civilian, whatever, but get a military training and equipment for 4 months.. and than 3 weeks a year for ar least 6 or 7 years (more if you are an officer..)

"Week-end warriors" seems fine to me, but it seems that the term is already in use.. ;)

Vern Humphrey
August 30, 2008, 10:17 AM
The ammo is free, and they should be going for body mass, not the head
Head shots have three advantages:

In combat, the head is often the only part of the enemy you can see.

In practice, adopting a higher standard (head versus center of mass) produces better shots.

Head shots tend to demoralize the enemy.

Geno
August 30, 2008, 10:31 AM
Over many years of quiet observation, I have noted that the sole difference between LEOs' and non-LEOs' shooting competency is the individual's commitment to practice. I have noted high quality shootists, as well as poor quality shootists in both walks of life.

My BIL was a terrible shot before he became an LEO. As he prepared to enter the academy, he committed to considerable practice. He eventually achieved "Expert" classification. He wore that uniform pin with great pride. Not all of his fellow officers had that, nor even the "Marksman" pin. Some had no pin at all.

The community took great pride in our LEOs who made commitment to achieve excellence. :)

ProficientRifleman
August 30, 2008, 10:32 AM
The term is also often used colloquially

That doesn't mean its correct.

The expression "mo-bettuh" is used colloquially also...

Jeff F
August 30, 2008, 12:14 PM
I used to shoot on some leagues in San Jose with a bunch of leo's. They were Santa Clara sheriffs, San Jose and Milpitas pd. The few that were real gunnies could shoot, the others not so much. I shot with Leroy Pile, San Jose pd and one of the best gunnies I've ever had the pleasure of shooting with. Most of the non leo's I shot with were better shots then the leo's but the leo's were better under pressure.

4sooth
August 30, 2008, 12:35 PM
This is an interesting post and--a subject of interest to me for many years.

Here in Louisiana a police officer is prevented BY LAW from using the departmental range on other than qualifying days.

If someone is injured by a firearm during training and the head instructor is present--it is considered an accident(generally).However---if the instructor is absent during this event---then the instructor is PERSONALLY liable for the incident.

With this in mind no trainer is going to ever allow someone to use the range when he/she can not be there.

While a reserve I tried for years to get the reserve organizations to lobby the legislature to change this --to no avail.

I do not know if other states have similar problems--but even if a officer here wants to train --it is difficult to impossible for them to have a place to do so.

ProficientRifleman
August 30, 2008, 12:52 PM
I do not know if other states have similar problems--but even if a officer here wants to train --it is difficult to impossible for them to have a place to do so.

They can't utilize the same ranges that "civilians" use?

Kino74
August 30, 2008, 12:58 PM
The ammo is free, and they should be going for body mass, not the head...

+1 You'd think that would be the correct course of action.

Jeff White
August 30, 2008, 01:26 PM
Everyone here who is complaining about police marksmanship needs to start circulating a petition to raise their taxes to pay for more training. If you are too cheap to pay for adequate training for your employees, you have no right to complain about their proficiency.

Jeff

Vern Humphrey
August 30, 2008, 01:34 PM
Ah, the old "throw money at the problem" solution.

My great uncle was an instructor and range master for the San Antonio, Texas police department in the '30s and 40s. They had high standards -- and low cost.

They issued a certain amout of ammo for practice, and if you didn't qualify, you didn't get paid until you did -- and you had to pay for practice ammo when you ran out of the issue amount.

Archie
August 30, 2008, 02:04 PM
Law enforcement agencies do train their armed employees fairly well in marksmanship and gun handling. Between the spread of 'standards' and lawsuits - in many cases the lawsuits generate the standards - agencies have been forced to do so. On the other hand, agencies only train to the level required by the standards. For instance, in my agency, armed officers are only trained in the use of the issue sidearm. I know any number of officers who have never handled a firearm other than their issue sidearm. They are reasonably proficient with that sidearm, and are reasonably safe with it; but they would be lost if handed a single action revolver, for instance.

Agencies - local, state and federal - are run by 'managers', not by officers, cops, lawmen or regular folks. Any training schedule, regimine or program is limited, some times severely, by budget and manpower constraints. A day in training is a day lost in the 'field'. Therefore, the managers keep training to the minimum required.

Non officially armed members of the populace (that ain't gonna work for long) have no imposed budget limits, but most have practical budget limits. We all have to pay bills, eat and put gas in the car - so our shooting money is limited. The upshot is, some 'civilians' are better shooters than LEOs and some aren't. I'd venture to say most of the active shooters on this forum are better marksmen and have a wider range of firearms knowledge than most current LEOs. On the other hand, we all know a couple of people who think a 'Deagle' is a valid self-defense sidearm for general useage.

I'm not sure if I count as a Law Enforcement Agency shooter or a civilian shooter. I'm 'officially armed'; I have an issued badge and gun and arrest authority. For the record, I learned to shoot from non-official sources; my Dad, shooting buddies, older Marines, retired lawmen from earlier eras, older hunters and so forth. In terms of organizations, the National Rifle Association is the greatest source of marksmanship and firearms handling information in the nation, and probably the world.

Who would I trust more? (Or any LEO in uniform while performing duties.)

Consider this: I know the training given to my agency colleages. (I also know who can't shoot or aren't very 'steady' emotionally.) I do not know any of you on the street by sight. So I have no idea if you have any ability or not. As fellow citizens of the United States, I trust your hearts and intent, but without solid information, I don't know if you can shoot or not.

Background may or may not mean anything. Even with prior armed forces service, one might not be much of a shooter. A person who served six years of active duty as a mortarman or tanker may or may not know anything serious about operating a pistol. An Olympic Free Pistol gold medalist might not be the person to pick in a gunfight, either.

Statistically, I've read 'civilians' shoot fewer of the wrong people than active Lawmen. As mentioned, it's probably because 'civilians' primarily shoot attackers in the act. Target identification is simplified when they're attacking you.

Jeff White
August 30, 2008, 02:19 PM
They issued a certain amount of ammo for practice, and if you didn't qualify, you didn't get paid until you did -- and you had to pay for practice ammo when you ran out of the issue amount.

Vern,
How many departments nationwide do you think even issue practice ammo? Given the cost and availability of ammunition these days many departments issue exactly enough rounds to qualify, no more, no less.

How many departments have the manpower to cover the street while half the dept is on the range training, or the money for overtime to pay the officers to train?


Police training is one area where throwing money at the problem must be part of the solution.

Perhaps you'd like to look at a few line item budgets and see what service you'd cut in order to train?

Jeff

TexasRifleman
August 30, 2008, 02:23 PM
How many departments nationwide do you think even issue practice ammo? Given the cost and availability of ammunition these days many departments issue exactly enough rounds to qualify, no more, no less.

The small town PD Chief where I grew up was a good friend of mine.

Sad to say but he spent many of his weekends at the reloading bench and melting lead for bullets to give his guys some more practice time.

He would go around and ask for lead tire weight donations from the local tire places.

There was no budget for ammo at all, even for qualifying. The guys had to pay for that on their own.

Now due to liability concerns he's had to stop with the reloads and they just give a couple of boxes a YEAR to each guy, for "training".

tpaw
August 30, 2008, 02:30 PM
Head shots have three advantages:

In combat, the head is often the only part of the enemy you can see.

In practice, adopting a higher standard (head versus center of mass) produces better shots.

Head shots tend to demoralize the enemy.

Only if you can hit such a small target in chaotic combat conditions. Good for a sniper, but not for the average grunt. Trust me, I've been there.

Rexster
August 30, 2008, 03:33 PM
As I believe another post mentioned, there are LEOs who are good shots, and some less so, which is the same that can be said of private citizens. Some LEOs are firearms enthusiasts, and some are not, which is also true of private citizens.

Police will always shoot the "wrong" person a higher percentage of the time, because LEOs are dispatched, sent, or otherwise prompted to go into unknown situations. A private citizen usually acts when prompted by the situation in which he finds himself, defends himself or those known to him, and he will have no duty to interrupt a fight in which he has no part.

Yes, it is deplorable that many LEOs only qual once once a year, but many private citizens NEVER qual, unless they need to do so for their carry permit, and that qual may only happen once in a lifetime, when obtaining the permit for the first time. In my state, the CHL qual target has quite generous scoring compared to the qual target I must use for my annual qual.

It is also deplorable that many LEOs practice so seldom, but some private citizens NEVER practice, ever. Some weapons kept ready for home defense are grandpa's old guns, still loaded with grandpa's ammo, and dust bunnies in the barrels. I have been approached by folks with CHLs, who wanted to ask questions about firearms or laws, and in the subsequent conversations, learned they had never fired the handgun they were carrying at the time.

The performance of the members of a shooting club should not be used to estimate the shooting abilities of the public at large.

Intune
August 30, 2008, 04:05 PM
The expression "mo-bettuh" is used colloquially also...PR, thank you for the chuckle! Very astute, Sir. :cool:

sacp81170a
August 30, 2008, 04:25 PM
They issued a certain amout of ammo for practice, and if you didn't qualify, you didn't get paid until you did -- and you had to pay for practice ammo when you ran out of the issue amount.

While I understand the sentiment, the standards we're being held to on the streets now are very much different. In the 30's and 40's, the circumstances under which a peace officer could use their firearm were, shall we say, a tad "looser"? :D

These days, you better have about three levels of justification before you even draw your sidearm. What would have gotten your great uncle a pat on the back would get a lot of officers fired, prosecuted, and jailed, along with suits against the city for excessive force. The legal environment of today requires quite a bit more judiciousness in the use of force and causes hesitation that in some cases is contrary to officer survival. Not saying this is a bad thing, it's just different.

The urbanization of the environment is also a problem. I remember when I was a kid over in Madison County. We could go just about anywhere, set up a few cans and start plinkin'. As long as we weren't shootin' towards anyone's house(it was a lot easier to find a safe direction then), everything was cool. I've been back to my old haunts and there are so many houses around now that I wouldn't feel safe squirrel hunting with a .22, though a shotgun would be okay.

It truly is a different world, and careful documentation of all phases of LEO training is used in court all the time. Unofficial, unapproved, unsanctioned practice is something that might come back to haunt you. It's a truly sad state of affairs, but there it is...

Mt Shooter
August 30, 2008, 04:26 PM
Everyone here who is complaining about police marksmanship needs to start circulating a petition to raise their taxes to pay for more training. If you are too cheap to pay for adequate training for your employees, you have no right to complain about their proficiency.

I don't know about where you all come from, but there are usually 3 to 7 sheriff deputies that show up the the USPSA match's. Some of those use there spare time at the range and toss a couple hundred down range all the time. They pay/load there ammo just like I do.

Vern Humphrey
August 30, 2008, 04:42 PM
While I understand the sentiment, the standards we're being held to on the streets now are very much different. In the 30's and 40's, the circumstances under which a peace officer could use their firearm were, shall we say, a tad "looser"?

Apples and oranges. What we're talking about is the psycho-motor skill of shooting, not the cognitive ability to determine if you should shoot or not.

Scoutsout2645
August 30, 2008, 06:26 PM
According to Webster's:
"civilian: one not on active duty in the armed services or not on a police or firefighting force"

"citizen:
1: an inhabitant of a city or town; especially : one entitled to the rights and privileges of a freeman
2 a: a member of a state b: a native or naturalized person who owes allegiance to a government and is entitled to protection from it
3: a civilian as distinguished from a specialized servant of the state" (emphasis is mine)

A: this part of the debate is dramatically off topic from the OP

B: as a current LEO, prior military, and civilian for 18 years before that, since when did the term "civilian" become inherently derogatory? Yes, SOME people can use that term in a derogatory way, but I have heard people use the term "American" as an intended insult and I do not consider that as an inherently negative term. I am married to a "civilian", my mom is a "civilian"...heck, some of my best friends are "civilians". :rolleyes:

C: when faced with a fight (gun or other) where your safety is in danger: an individual soldier who flees and leaves other troops in jeopardy can face charges under the UCMJ, an individual LEO who flees and leaves other citizens in jeopardy can face departmental or possibly criminal charges, any other individual citizen who flees and leaves others in jeopardy will face NO repercussions from the State. This third category is the civilian. This term has nothing to do with their training, competence or anything else--just whether or not they have an obligation to act due to their job or position.

To address the actual OP...I wish I could say that all LEO's were crack shots, recieved plenty of training time and resources to hone their combat skills with hands, batons and firearms, and had training officers in their departments who were skilled and capable of providing effective realistic training that tested your skills under stressful conditions. This is simply not the case.

SOME officers take it upon themselves to train frequently. SOME take courses to improve their abilities (often on their own time and their own dime). SOME officers have departments who actually emphasize training, have skilled, involved and approachable training officers and who provide ammo and resources to their officers who train on their own (I am fortunate to be one of these). MOST do not and, as has been stated, only fire their weapons at annual or semi-annual qualifications. Many fall into this habit because, outside of Hollywood, the majority of LEO's will never HAVE to use their firearms or fall prey to the "can't happen to me" mindset.
Similarly, SOME civilian gun owners train irregularly (if at all). However, for many people who decide to own a gun, shooting is an enjoyable hobby and is practiced as often as possible with an effort to improve their skills. If they decide to CCW it is often precisely because they have a "it CAN (or WILL) happen to me" mindset.

Finally, to repeat other posters, most civilian HD or SD shootings are close range--often static--affairs, minimizing the probability of a stress-induced miss, or happen in an area (like inside your home) where you KNOW that anyone in front of you is a threat to be dealt with appropriately. I had a home burglary I responded to where I found a neighbor (a good-intentioned agent from a major federal LEO agency) in civilian attire, gun out, clearing the residence--without me knowing he was even in there. This COULD HAVE turned out tragic, adding to the stats above. This is also a situation that the MAJORITY of civilian shooters will never have to face.

And to Dan the Man: I love your training plan for a realistic shooting scenario....please don't talk to my training officer. :D

sacp81170a
August 30, 2008, 07:20 PM
Apples and oranges. What we're talking about is the psycho-motor skill of shooting, not the cognitive ability to determine if you should shoot or not.

I agree in principle, but the reality is that the administrative and legal culture currently in vogue leans more toward the "solve problems without shooting" school of thought and this is reflected in training. If you've got a limited training budget and the state requires all your officers to take a refresher course in "profiling" and "cultural awareness", guess where your training dollars go first?

I can remember when we used to brag about how tough our sheriffs and police were. Not anymore. I'm not saying that peace officers shouldn't be better trained in handling and shooting firearms, I'm saying that the overall culture has shifted away from making that a priority. Again, I agree, apples and oranges. When's the last time you heard a chief LEO brag about what good shots his officers were? Maybe in private, but never where an ACLU lawyer could get wind of it, that's for sure.

TRGRHPY
August 30, 2008, 07:29 PM
I would like to say that I agree that LEO's should be paid MUCH more than they currently are. I don't think that a six figure salary is out of the question at all, not for the stress that they and their family have to endure. I also feel that they should have other perks at taxpayer expense. I don't want an officer shooting around my home when he has only fired one box of issued ammo for the year.
However, what I and others would like to see happen and what the current reality is are two different things. An officer has a deadly weapon that he/she is responsible for. If that officer has to use his own dime to make sure that he can properly use that firearm, then so be it. Yes, it is a damn shame and a disgrace that the people that citizens rely on to protect them are paid next to nothing, probably around the poverty level. But that officer still has to be responsible enough to take the initiative to be a damn fine shooter.

As far as shooting the wrong person under stressfull conditions, I am fully aware of that. Stress should not be used as an excuse, but as a reason to find a better way. You can train to function under stress and the fog of war, but it takes someone willing to do it (repetition, repetition, repitition). And I feel that if you are going to take on the responsibility of having a firearm that you may be called upon to use in your duties, then you owe it to everyone to make sure that when the time comes, you are prepared to handle it as best as possible. Only shooting what is issued to you is not responsibility, it is complacency.
And BTW, that also goes for anyone who chooses to carry, concealed or otherwise.

Catherine
August 30, 2008, 07:41 PM
Quote:

Just one question Catherine. I know I am not in the USA, and maybe you have no words for that, but how would you call us swiss for example ? We are Citizens, or Civilian, whatever, but get a military training and equipment for 4 months.. and than 3 weeks a year for ar least 6 or 7 years (more if you are an officer..)

"Week-end warriors" seems fine to me, but it seems that the term is already in use..

~~~~~

Dear Shung,

I would call you a Swiss citizen who is in Switzerland's military. You are 'military'. Until you are completely OUT of the military you are IN the military. Part time-on call military could mean FULL time and/or Full time military = military. (We call it the Reserves or National Guard here. I personally do NOT use the term 'weekend warriors'. That is 'just me' and my quirk - no offense. Many men/women who later on got out of the "regular service" in ALL branches went into the Reserves or Guard - usually back in their home state. For example - my late husband and many other Vietnam Veterans like him. They worked NON government jobs and/or government jobs PLUS served in the Reserves or Guard. Some stayed in the same branch and served their 20 plus years in the "regular service".) When you have completed your military service even though you would be there IF needed, kind of what I think of our (USA) MILITIA... you would be a Citizen. Only the military should call NON military people civilians but I PREFER lady, gentleman or CITIZEN no matter what country you 'hail' from. The Police ARE civilians unless they are in the Military = Military Police, Shore Patrol , etc.

OUR military and NON military folks are Citizens or legal immigrants in this country. Criminals = illegal aliens because they are NOT legal.

Your country or ANY other country, including the USA, has a population of all kinds of people... if those people are BORN there or legally BECAME a citizen... they are citizens. Every country in the world has a population of people and they are citizens of THAT country or SOME other country - perhaps living elsewhere. For example in war torn countries... you could be a citizen of X country but due to a war... you became a refugee or FLED to Y or Z = another country because of the WAR or FAMINE or some other horrible/sad reason.

By the way, I always wanted to visit your country. My late husband visited your country many years ago with some close military friends. They were in Ramstein, Germany (His Air NG Fighter Wing time not his USN Vietnam and around the world time on ship/destroyer.) and they had a GREAT time. They were all over the place. It was his first time in your country but not the first time in Germany, etc. I do not know the name of the towns that he visited though. They rented a vehicle and he did the driving whenever they were OFF duty. All of them chipped in for the rental/fuel costs.

Your country is BEAUTIFUL and I like the principles of some of your 'politics'.

I would love to visit Switzerland... perhaps someday.

Shoot straight, take care and nice to meet you again.

Sincerely,

Catherine

Vern Humphrey
August 30, 2008, 07:49 PM
In the United States, we call such people "Reservists" if they are Federal troops, and "Guardsmen" if they are State troops.

As a general rule, our inactive combat troops are Guardsmen, and our combat service support troops are Reservists.

Catherine
August 30, 2008, 08:02 PM
Quote:

They can't utilize the same ranges that "civilians" use?

~~~~~

P.R.,

Thank you! I used to drive 30 miles ONE WAY via the $turnpike$ to practice when I first started to BUY my own firearms, my own ammunition and really GOT into self defense and the shooting sports! I don't remember the EXACT cost of one hour of use for that gun store's indoor range but I think it was about $10. or more for 1 HOUR. I bought my guns at that family owned gun store from 1998-2001.

Later on I joined a Sportsman's Club in S. County and that was about 11 to 15 miles from my rural home. OUTDOOR range. Nice people there too and everywhere else. Frank told me about it and sponsored me. I visited many other clubs on personal invitations and for 'shoots' including high power shoots. I went and watched some of my friends and new friends in my state and in MI too. I and/or WE always went up to Camp Perry to watch the competitions and our boat rental docks were up in Port Clinton... river and lake side plus we used the free drops. That was pretty close to Camp Perry. I used to sail my Sunfish sail boat not his boats OFF of Camp Perry's beach - we got in with the military ID cards. Fished off of that big pier too.

Take care.

Catherine

Catherine
August 30, 2008, 08:53 PM
The retired and active city police and/or county deputies that I saw at my outdoor range (S. county.) back east and out here at Deer Creek PAY for their own ammunition when they plink, practice or 'compete'. My husband used to compete. I something or other... I can't think of the name but Big Sky Practical Shooting Club is involved. Even though his schedule does not allow him to 'compete' anymore he still belongs to it. We pay for the Deer Creek range, the BSPSC, our pro gun organization, etc.

When the police have to QUALIFY out here and back east... they get their ammunition paid for by the taxpayers. They get ammunition to practice with paid by taxpayers. How much that is NOW - I have no clue. Every local and state department is different. (Same as with the MILITARY. I know that was how it was in the past.) The police force and deputies have been increased in manpower in almost all states along with the Federal grants (Homeland INsecurity.) and so forth. Equipment, swat stuff, etc. There are figures on legit and government websites about ALL of these increases in MORE hiring in various departments on the federal and state levels. Some small departments may have been cut back but even some in small/rural towns their funding has been INCREASED across this nation.

There are many men/women who belong in ALL kinds of professions who PAY MONEY out of their own pockets for SOME of their equipment or supplies - you name it!

The nice retired policeman who retired from the city (?) but joined up to a county or some other department out here used his OWN ammunition when he practiced. He is the man who let me use his UZI on full and semi automatic power! His UZI is the one that I have mentioned before, 22LR, 9MM and 45ACP. He had his own ammunition for his other guns too. My husband knew him and the policeman asked my husband, "Would your lady friend like to shoot my UZI?" I was shooting further down at the gongs at the time. He said, "ASK HER!" Nice man, sweet guns, good shot and handsome too! He was FRIENDLY too.

I was going to say more but I am quite sure it would get closed down or deleted by the thought police here.

Back on topic... The policeman with the UZI and other guns was a GREAT shot and is a nice man.

Catherine

Jeff White
August 30, 2008, 08:59 PM
Some small departments may have been cut back but even some in small/rural towns their funding has been INCREASED across this nation.

I hate to say this but you don't have a clue about this.

Jeff

Catherine
August 30, 2008, 09:16 PM
Gee, I figured that you would say that, Jeff. Sigh.

The small town close to my former rural home, 2.5 miles away, has had their FUNDING increased for police protection. This was back east. They don't want to have the sheriff's department cover their town and still want to stick with their own taxpayer funded hired help. The man gets paid well, good benefits and always a nice new vehicle. I would mention the town but that wouldn't be too safe on the internet. I keep up with the people back there and it is in the WC newspaper and in the other county papers too. The people want home town protection so they voted for it. They have always voted for that issue along with keeping up with the community pool, the local library, etc. The local library gets money from the county, some funding from the state and the feds. They recently put up another BIG addition too. Very nice. They have contributors who make donations in books, money and fund raisers. I know because I used to be VERY involved with my local library. My late husband's great Aunts started that library and it used to be in the former opera house now town hall.

I don't think that you know EVERY town and every police department across this nation either. No offense.

Catherine

Tom Servo
August 30, 2008, 10:48 PM
Perhaps you'd like to look at a few line item budgets and see what service you'd cut in order to train?
It gets tricky. I wonder if there's a way to work an incentive via the private sector.

I'm thinking tax credits for range owners who provide discounted/free ammunition for LEO's, as well as for instructors willing to train them.

Writing off the cost of ammo provided to LEO's against property/sales taxes would be a boon for a great many small businessmen.

sacp81170a
August 30, 2008, 10:54 PM
Some small departments may have been cut back but even some in small/rural towns their funding has been INCREASED across this nation.

Unfortunately, even if budgets were increased, our expenses just took a HUGE increase this year. My department has effectively canceled all training for the rest of the year except for minimum qualifications. Why? Because gas has almost doubled in price. We used our budget for the whole year in the first five months, even though we've cut back on the amount of patrolling, not idling while on the sided of the road running radar, doubling up in patrol units, etc. As so often happens, when push comes to shove it's the optional training budget that takes a hit. Couple that with a cutback in overtime and the huge increases in ammo prices and you can see how even off-duty practice is going to take a hit.

I get paid a good bit more than the average cop around here in my "day" job as an IT manager and I gotta confess, I couldn't make it on what these guys are getting paid. Other than mandatory qualifications and certifications, the bulk of our budget is going to keeping units on the road.

In years past, we had qualifications and tactical training at least quarterly and sometimes on a monthly basis. Not now and not for the foreseeable future. The real crunch is gonna hit next year when sales tax collections for the year take a nosedive. People just aren't buying as much this year. Plunging tax revenues mean optional items get cut, and extra training beyond state mandated minimums has always been considered optional. Sucks, but that's the way it is, Homeland Security or not.

Jeff White
August 30, 2008, 11:16 PM
I don't think that you know EVERY town and every police department across this nation either. No offense.

From what I've read in professional publications and what I know of the grants and other alternate funding sources that are out there, I would doubt that there are all that many departments who have received an increase in funding when inflation has been figured in.

Then as sacp81170a relates, there is the totally off budget increase in fuel costs. This as affected everything from patrol to how far a department is willing to travel to extradite a prisoner from another jurisdiction.

If you'd like I can spend Tuesday (my grandkids are here for the weekend) looking up some numbers for you.

Jeff

tpaw
August 31, 2008, 12:37 AM
Rexster writes:

Police will always shoot the "wrong" person a higher percentage of the time, because LEOs are dispatched, sent, or otherwise prompted to go into unknown situations.

Strictly opinion. Absolutes should never be used. Please post some facts.

Rexster
August 31, 2008, 02:18 AM
OK, so it is my opinion that police will always shoot the "wrong" person a higher percentage of the time. If we only post scientific facts, this place will become boring right quickly.

I base my opinion on simple logical reasoning. How many private citizens are sent to the scenes of crimes in progress, and then have to figure out what is happening? Of course, some private citizens will ride to the sound of the guns, but it is a rare event.
Of course, I should add the disclaimer that this is all my personal perception of things, not a scientific study.

Catherine
August 31, 2008, 07:33 AM
I do AGREE that HIGH fuel costs have been a huge and negative factor in small towns, rural communities, suburbs and the cities. Especially this last year. It has been a factor in snow plowing and in ALL other county, state and federally funded programs and safety measures from A to Z! Taxpayer funds, grants, etc.

It has been noticeable in all states. It will come home to roost in many more areas this coming year and in the future. Some, not all, grants and other programs have been cut back in OTHER programs too.

I used to attend my township and county meetings. I even used to attend some of the small town council meetings but I lived in the township.

Some small towns, NOT all of them, have been FORTUNATE to have had surpluses. Others have not, some have withered up and died - same as in some CITIES not only in the RUST BELT. Every community, county and STATE is different than the next one. I never said that they were ALL alike - far from it! You see it in farm/ranch towns especially and that goes from the east coast to the west coast - north and south! NOT only in the rust belt areas!

The rural area that I used to live in for over 30 years, my late husband's home state not mine, ALWAYS had a SURPLUS. That small TOWN always had a surplus. They had high property taxes compared to some other counties and the community was always held in HIGH regard. The town had an income tax on TOP of the other taxes. The township had NO income tax but if you worked anywhere - you got taxed there and you could not bring or transfer your taxes paid in the 'city' or in another county back to YOUR home county, town or township. Boo hiss.

Where that town USED to have one policeman who worked various other jobs from way back when, before and after the 1950's and EARLY 1970's when I moved there after his USN time... they had one main "Chief" and later on added part timers to fill the other 24/7 time slots. Two of my close friends were part time men, one went on to the county sheriff's department, later on after his deputy and detective work HE became Chief Deputy, right under the County Sheriff, and the other man worked more hours at his non government job. Two others who went to the same HS, not his college, also became deputies and detectives for the county. Another one worked in the nearby small city that had the UNIVERSITY. Some of these retired and active men... now have their KIDS in the department along with some in FD/EMT work - paid not Volunteer. ALL of those guys were also in the Volunteer FD/EMT squads way back when to current times. During some of those old times... they did not even have 911 on the telephones. That was in the 1970's and early 80's some too. It was very old fashioned but nice in how those rural towns were compared to how some other states changed or became more modern MUCH sooner. They have 911 now and all of the rural houses and farms including my former acre and house had to have county 'house numbers' put on or made up by the county. No more RR2 at or close to such and such intersection. I know that there is a better term for that now but I can't think of it now. Apologies to all of you.

The fire, emt and/or deputy calls including the rural not INSIDE some small towns used to say something like this: Such and such house on OLD route something because the new names were not well known. Cross roads of such and such or the 'Fill in the blank name' for the homestead! Later on the Volunteers (FD/EMT) got 'pagers' along with our old scanners and telephone call for a 'run'. If you dialed a fire number... it rang in ALL of the homes for the FD/EMT people. One was at the home base or former old FD station. Whoever got to the station first - usually a town dweller! They did build a NICE new FD station where you could fit more trucks, an ambulance, a tanker that the GUYS built, etc. I remembered the old station because it was in USE when I first moved out there. If you called the station and did not dial the 'other line' which they finally put in until they had the fancy/modern NEW system... you dialed and it rang to Everyone on the line... volunteer's homes. They even had some telephone numbers with only 4 digits with an operator and that was up to the 1960's from what I was told. NO kidding!

A lot of good changes were made with our tax dollars and the outlying areas grew up some in population.

I did hear that one major industry will be shutting down in that town in 2 years. The 'vegetable factory' or plant is still functioning. Several small businesses in the 1 block area are still functioning - 2 sides of the 'Main Street' area. They still have the grain elevator, a general store but no old hardware store or lumber company. They still have to deal with 2 telephone companies that divide 2 townships on a country road - those company names have changed too. No old fashioned barber shop but a salon and the 'meat market/freezer'. The TAX revenue is still coming in, high property taxes compared to some other places but they are VERY concerned on what will happen to that town when that one big company closes up. It may employ about 150 to 200 people at it's peak. They will move the company's work back to WI, down south perhaps and to MEXICO from what I heard. I have a friend whose husband works there and it is in the LOCAL papers which I can get on the internet. They don't have the small town paper anymore. It came out once a week too.

That farm area was very well known, clean, kept up and known for it's great school system. Community work and VOLUNTEERS galore including a great community FAIR too - not including the county one! People took PRIDE in their community - the way that I was raised in the 1950's and on - only on the east coast. The way that my forefathers were raised with pride and clean properties. Hardly any LITTER or junk.

Sorry about the ramble.

I did hear that they had some more crime problems that moved to the 'country'. What you see on the news NOW. Farm, rural homes and other bad STUFF is happening more and not only to the NEWLY built homes. Been there - done that when we built back in the early 1970's. People said that those things NEVER happened out THERE but they did only not so much until they had a string or rash of break ins and thefts - 1970's and on.

Anyway... with the increase of costs in all areas not just in FUEL... you will see the writing on the wall along with more business failures and CLOSINGS due to the bad economy in many parts of this country. All states unfortunately.

Some companies make DONATIONS of ammunition, etc. to the shooting sports industry including the Scouts. I think that some used to make this towards some, not all, police departments in some states when ammunition was LESS expensive or give their usual discount for peace officers. Discounts to the county for bulk purchases from what I was told by J. and I heard the township discuss this @ meetings when they gave out the reports, budget, bills to be paid, bids, etc. They use the county sheriff's department too.

Everything is more expensive in production costs, fuel, basic ingredients to make x, y or z, benefit costs including medical insurance if your company provides it, tons more plus the HUGE devaluation of the U.S. dollar. This will come home to roost for ALL of us including our tax dollar funded hired help from deputies, fire departments, emt squads including volunteers!

Catherine

sacp81170a
August 31, 2008, 12:09 PM
I do AGREE that HIGH fuel costs have been a huge and negative factor in small towns, rural communities, suburbs and the cities.

Catherine:

I didn't mean to single out and focus on fuel costs as being the reason for the lack of emphasis on firearms training for LEO, but as an example of the reality: in most departments today, ongoing firearms training is considered an "optional" line item in the budget.

The same thing can happen when budgets are being drawn up under "normal" circumstances. For example, a town needs new patrol cars because the old ones are worn out, the officers need new body armor, they need to hire and equip additional officers, etc. Budgets and needs are not static. Unfortunately, neither are tax revenues. They both go up and down based on a host of circumstances. 5 years ago my department had the money to send several officers to Gun Site. Since then, no one has gone back, two of those officers have retired, one left for another department, and the one who is left is now a detective who is too involved in his case load to continue training on a regular basis.

Even at that, the training they received at Gun Site 5 years ago is "stale" and could certainly stand to be refreshed, yet we don't have enough money to send even one instructor. Jeff's point is entirely valid. It's an oxymoron to complain about the level of firearms training of LEO's when it's not a budgetary priority. Like all good things, it costs money, but it's the first thing to get axed when the budget crunches inevitably come. That's just the way it is.

Those who complain about the "militarization" of the police have a valid point also. We have complete sets of raid type body armor, ballistic shields, etc., hanging up and acquiring a nice coat of dust. The funding came a few years ago when Homeland Security was all the rage, and the money had to be spent or lost. Now we don't have the money to go out and train with all that great tacticool gear, which makes it worse than useless. Additionally, we have no current SWAT qualified officers(which is a yearly certification) so we'd be on shaky legal ground if we hauled it out and used it for its intended purpose anyway.

(Sigh) All that money would have been better spent on quality training, but hindsight really is 20/20.

Everything is more expensive in production costs, fuel, basic ingredients to make x, y or z, benefit costs including medical insurance if your company provides it, tons more plus the HUGE devaluation of the U.S. dollar. This will come home to roost for ALL of us including our tax dollar funded hired help from deputies, fire departments, emt squads including volunteers!

All the more reason to be prepared to defend yourself when the need arises. Thus my support for civilian gun ownership and concealed and/or open carry by law abiding citizens.

tpaw
August 31, 2008, 12:19 PM
Rexster writes:

Of course, I should add the disclaimer that this is all my personal perception of things, not a scientific study.

Thank you for your honesty. Happy shooting.

Intune
August 31, 2008, 01:10 PM
Not having enough in the budget to earmark some for firearms training is doing a grave disservice to the officers and the community. Shouldn't that be near the top of the budget?

I am embarrassed to say that I don't know how the officers in my small town are faring regarding training but I'm going to find out. If they are being shortchanged by politicians sitting behind a desk that is unacceptable. :banghead:

Rexster
August 31, 2008, 01:32 PM
FWIW, I am provided with 60 rounds a year, for the annual qual with the primary duty pistol. If I am lucky enough to get into one of the few classes offered, ammo is usually provided for that class. Practice ammo is $5 for 60 rounds, but must be used on the police range, to fire the qual course, which is held several times a day. A public works project devoured our 25-yard range, so we now shoot at distances from 2 to 15 yards.

Duty ammo, and practice ammo while off the police range, is on us, the individual officers. Thankfully, my S&W K-frame .22 sixgun points and shoots (trigger stroke, anyway) just like my SIG P229 DAK duty pistol.

At qual time, my co-workers' shooting ranges from dismal to quite good. I tend to shoot in the low to mid-90's, on a scoring scale of 0-100. This is not bragging; I am sure many private citizens could smoke me on the qual course, if they can stand being in a line of other shooters, being bombarded with hot brass from the left, and not get flustered by the turning targets. Tune out the distractions, and our qual course is easy.

I have paid for private training, and paid hundreds of dollars and traveled hundreds of miles, each way, to get there. I sorely miss being able to drive a few miles to shoot at a cop-friendly sand company, where they bull-dozed a huge U-shaped berm for us, and we could set up our own targets and scenarios. That was the 1980's; this is the 21st Century, with urban/suburban/exurban sprawl taking away our places to shoot. Deputies in this county used to be able to drive to remote areas and shoot while on duty. Oops, starting to ramble. Y'all be safe out there.

Intune
August 31, 2008, 01:56 PM
Duty ammo, and practice ammo while off the police range, is on us, the individual officers.:what:
I can't believe you have to buy your own duty ammo! Does it have to be a certain brand, caliber or weight? Is that the case in most dept's nationwide?

sacp81170a
August 31, 2008, 05:36 PM
I can't believe you have to buy your own duty ammo! Does it have to be a certain brand, caliber or weight? Is that the case in most dept's nationwide?

We're not quite to that point yet, but we used to shoot our duty ammo for qualifications once a year so we could get issued new ammo. Now we only shoot the cheapest the department can get on the state contract, and I would've had the same duty ammo in my pistol for 3 years if I hadn't gone out and bought some myself. It does have to be on the approved list, which for us is Remington Golden Sabre LE ammo, 180 gr. for .40 cal. I don't remember what it is for 9mm and .45 since I don't carry a duty weapon in those calibers.

I train on my own dime and teach CCW classes, so I get more practice than some of the other officers.

I am sure many private citizens could smoke me on the qual course, if they can stand being in a line of other shooters, being bombarded with hot brass from the left, and not get flustered by the turning targets. Tune out the distractions, and our qual course is easy.

And let's not forget the other big distractions: peer pressure and keeping your job. Everyone wants to feel good and have bragging rights coming off the range, it's only natural. Add to that the fact that failure to qualify means suspension or loss of pay and possibly your job, and yeah, you got pressure. ;)

Scoutsout2645
August 31, 2008, 06:34 PM
Intune: I've talked w/ guys south of the Mason-Dixon where not just duty ammo, but duty weapons and even body armor have to be provided by the officer. I know up here in NJ these things are usually provided by the departments, but it is hit and miss on them providing training ammo. PLACES to train are the bigger issue by us--in rural Montana you could set up a tire shoot house in your backyard and not bother anyone but, in densely populated NJ, many indoor ranges are facing pressure from local municipalities over noise issues and outdoor ranges are either in the remote corners of the state or are facing issues of encroaching development. I'm losing a nearby indoor pistol range and will soon be forced to travel over an hour--one way--to the next nearest range (50 yd rifle and pistol but outdoor only, making winter training less likely) or pony up over $200 per year, per shooter to join a smaller private club with it's own indoor range ($400+ total for me and the boss, before we even get ammo).

"Not having enough in the budget to earmark some for firearms training is doing a grave disservice to the officers and the community. Shouldn't that be near the top of the budget?"

No. As others have said, firearms qualifications are often the extent of the training budget. This is because these "standards" are what limit a town's liability in the event of a shooting--they "prove" that an officer can hit a target at the lowest threshold of accuracy to avoid a finding of negligence. Most so-called "qualifications" or "certifications" for weapons (firearms, batons, OC, et. al.) are to limit liability, NOT for officer safety or actual proficiency. LUCKY officers have departments that budget for more than minimum competency, but that money has to come from somewhere and it rarely comes from an increase in taxes.

Since MOST officers will go their entire careers w/o firing a weapon off the range, MOST training budgets are spent dealing with things that officers are far more likely to deal with on a day-to-day basis--domestic violence, drug interdiction, legal updates, etc. With limited resources, a training officer needs to choose: A) an officer who can only shoot at the minimum standard (but who will most likely never NEED to do so), or B) an officer who searches cars and people illegally because he doesn't know that the laws/rules have changed.

I've seen some posts that criticize low firearms training budgets and even you say "If they are being shortchanged by politicians sitting behind a desk that is unacceptable", but how many of you on this forum would equally protest (even more vehemently) a 2% tax increase to fund that training? How many of you will try running for your town council on a platform to increase taxes to train your officers above your State's minimum standard? Especially in your town where "nothing ever happens" and "they've never had to shoot anyone anyway". :banghead:

Oh well, guess I'm shelling out that $400 after all...

Scoutsout2645
August 31, 2008, 06:44 PM
sacp81170a: I'll also add in the stress of competition--we each chip in $5, then run a competition round of fire during quals. The squad with the highest combined score (or the most Xs in a tie) gets the pot. Usually works out to an extra $30 for each guy on the winning squad--still trying to figure out a good natured negative penalty for the lowest scoring team! :evil:

ravenwolf71
August 31, 2008, 06:57 PM
Just look at the police in NYC 52 shots with only 2 or 3 hits. Thats just sad. In my opinion when they need that many shots at a suspect, and only hit him 3 times they shouldn't be allowed to carry a gun. For the safety of the public.

Scoutsout2645
August 31, 2008, 07:17 PM
I don't want to sound like I'm justifying that hit ratio, but how many times have you shot at someone moving in the dark while scrambling for cover because you're being shot at? I know that my accuracy drops off significantly in those situations in training. And that's just using simunitions which will (at worst) leave a nice blood blister--forget about facing real bullets and real death. Until you've done some training putting yourself in a realistic shoot/no shoot position under serious stress, be careful how hastily you jump all over people.

sacp81170a
August 31, 2008, 07:30 PM
Just look at the police in NYC 52 shots with only 2 or 3 hits. Thats just sad. In my opinion when they need that many shots at a suspect, and only hit him 3 times they shouldn't be allowed to carry a gun. For the safety of the public.

You say that, and yet I've seen countless posts on this very forum deriding the British police for not having every one of their officers carry a gun. :rolleyes:

I'm sure the British politicians are heartily in support of your sentiments.

As an illustration, the recent FBI analysis of deadly force encounters records a higher first shot hit percentage for the bad guys vs. the cops. They go on to say that the average starting distance when a criminal begins shooting is about 7 feet, whereas the average distance for the first shots fired by police is 15 feet or greater. This is a consequence of the bad guys having the initiative: they know when they're going to be in a deadly force encounter because they're the ones who initiate it.

Add in what Scoutsout2645 pointed out plus the fact that in the real world you're probably trying to shoot through things like car doors and what look like very poor hit ratios turn out to be about what you could expect.

The real world ain't a square, well lit range with no one shooting back. If you've never been on a "two-way range"(I have, they suck) don't presume to judge those who have.

Surat
August 31, 2008, 08:46 PM
A bit of interesting data from the DOJ on use of force for officers.

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/ndcopuof.pdf

Reported incidents of police use of force per 1,000
sworn officers during 1991 in city departments

Type of force officers Rate per
1,000
sworn
Handcuff/leg restraint 490.4
Bodily force (arm, foot, or leg) 272.2
Come-alongs 226.8
Unholstering weapon 129.9
Swarm 126.7
Twist locks/wrist locks 80.9
Firm grip 57.7
Chemical agents (Mace or Cap-Stun) 36.2
Batons 36.0
Flashlights 21.7
Dog attacks or bites 6.5
Electrical devices (TASER) 5.4
Civilians shot at but not hit 3.0
Other impact devices 2.4
Neck restraints/unconsciousness-rendering
holds 1.4
Vehicle rammings 1.0
Civilians shot and killed 0.9
Civilians shot and wounded but not killed 0.2
As you can see, the use of deadly force is a microscopic percentage of all force usage.

Another point was made in the DOJ publication:

The single best predictor of police use of force is
whether the suspect used force. Other predictors of
police use of force are these: the suspect is involved
with a gang; the suspect is impaired by alcohol; the
suspect is known to be resistive, assaultive, or armed
with a weapon; both the suspect and police officer are
male; and the offense suspected is violent.

As cited by and earlier poster, police often have to respond with deadly force as a reactive measure. Where as a homeowner in the midle of the night has every right to haul out a shotgun when checking out a suspicous noise arond the house, I'd be suspended and sitting at the house for like displays of force without credible threat. LEO's have to work on the back side of the decision loop, where as the criminal has the choice of where an when to initiate his deadly force.

It's like the old line: "You cops all drive to fast past my house." . . . "Why didn't you get here to my house faster?" The anti LEO ravings of certain factions of this board are one of the reasons I have mostly stopped posting and reading.

tpaw
September 1, 2008, 01:11 AM
ravenwolf71
New Member



Join Date: 04-13-08
Location: Bergen Co., NJ
Posts: 19 Just look at the police in NYC 52 shots with only 2 or 3 hits. Thats just sad. In my opinion when they need that many shots at a suspect, and only hit him 3 times they shouldn't be allowed to carry a gun. For the safety of the public.

Can you be more specific and provide documentation supporting your statement.

Officers'Wife
September 1, 2008, 01:44 PM
Hi Jeff White,

Everyone here who is complaining about police marksmanship needs to start circulating a petition to raise their taxes to pay for more training. If you are too cheap to pay for adequate training for your employees, you have no right to complain about their proficiency.


Interesting, then if we do not like welds on our automobiles we should pay more for training of the welders. If we do not like the skill level of over the road truck drivers we should pay for their additional driving lessons.

Bottom line- it is the employees' duty to develop their skill set not the customers. A person is either committed to their occupation enough to invest in their skills or they find a different occupation.

Selena

sacp81170a
September 1, 2008, 01:59 PM
Interesting, then if we do not like welds on our automobiles we should pay more for training of the welders. If we do not like the skill level of over the road truck drivers we should pay for their additional driving lessons.

Huge difference. Welders weld all day, day in and day out as part of their job. Truck drivers drive all day, day in and day out. You expect someone to remain not just expert, but infallible in a skill that they may actually need on the job once or twice in an entire career.

Which would you rather have, a police officer who is cognizant of all the changes in laws concerning traffic violations, searches and seizures, constitutional basis for a search, or one who shoots really, really well?

Bottom line- it is the employees' duty to develop their skill set not the customers. A person is either committed to their occupation enough to invest in their skills or they find a different occupation.

If a company hires a welder and then switches to new equipment requiring new techniques, do they fire all their welders and go hire new ones? Nope, wouldn't be profitable, would it? That's the difference. The private corporation has a profit motive in keeping its workers up to date. If they fail to spend the money required to do so, they lose business and therefore profits. Those welders would have a legitimate beef if they were required to practice a new welding skill on their own dime and their own time.

The local and state governments who pay the vast majority of police in this country are extremely susceptible to budget cuts. Again, which would you rather have, an officer out searching vehicles unaware of changes in the laws on search and seizure but who was an uber-competent tactical operator, or one who knows the law but isn't as uber-competent?

You put on a disingenuous act, making it seem that the main job of a police officer is to shoot people. As has been pointed out, that's a vanishingly small percentage of the job.

Vern Humphrey
September 1, 2008, 02:17 PM
One consequence of making excuses (as teachers do) is that it leads to a confession of fraud. If one knowlingly takes money for a job they know they cannot do, that's fraud.

gripper
September 1, 2008, 02:33 PM
Where I used to live ( In Ma.) ;the old CLEO was a decent sort.The town had a range behind the highway dept. that allowed usage by the (licensed) town residents.
Sufficient to say ; that was the OLD CLEO;the replacement/current (among other changes) put a stop to that.Yes ;he was/is an anti(as well as ethically challenged);and YES the current crop of his favorites annnot shoot worth a dam.This has been confirmed to me by an old friend who is still a police officer(and counting off the days until he can escaspe Massachusetts!).

sacp81170a
September 1, 2008, 03:09 PM
One consequence of making excuses (as teachers do) is that it leads to a confession of fraud. If one knowlingly takes money for a job they know they cannot do, that's fraud.

????

csmkersh
September 1, 2008, 03:27 PM
I think Vern is saying, in a round about way, that cops who are bad shots are committing fraud....

bogie
September 1, 2008, 03:31 PM
Can anyone point me to any statistics regarding how often police hit their target in real life

Several times at a local indoor range, I've had police hit my target...

No real stats tho...

Jeff White
September 1, 2008, 03:38 PM
Bottom line- it is the employees' duty to develop their skill set not the customers. A person is either committed to their occupation enough to invest in their skills or they find a different occupation.

No, it is the employers job to provide adequate training. Perhaps we should just disband TRADOC, close all the service schools and require our Soldiers to be committed enough to their occupation to invest in the skills they need. It works for me, I can probably make a lot of money providing said training...:rolleyes:

As for your example of a welder, my brother in law is a specialty welder for a large international fabricating company. His employer is continually sending him to school to learn new techniques, to be certified to inspect jobs etc. He doesn't spend his off work time welding. He spends his off work time with his family.

I don't know why all the civilians who like to shoot think that just because they consider it recreation, that everyone who carries a firearm as part of his job feels the same way. They don't. They have other interests just like you do. They have families they like to spend time with. And here's the kicker, most of them aren't paid well enough to pay for a lot of quality firearms training out of pocket. In the private sector a good three day class from a tier one instructor will run $500 +, add in the cost of 1500 rounds of ammunition, travel to the class, lodging, meals and you're looking at an investment of perhaps $2000. That $2000 buys you three days of good training where skills will be honed. However such training is perishable and somewhere around 8-10 days after conclusion of the training those skills will begin to deteriorate. In order to maintain proficiency the student needs to back on the range reviewing the lessons from the class. The more time that passes between the class and the practice session, the more the skills deteriorate. So now you are demanding that the officer take time away from his family to go to the range (because he should be committed enough to do it right?), take more money from the family budget to pay for the ammunition and perhaps the range fees, and go train some more. Let's see, given a minimum standard of one class with a tier one instructor per year at an estimated cost of $2000, a weekly practice session at let's say $60 a session, we've got $3120 more invested. That's $5120 that he doesn't have to spend on his family, because you, the taxpayer are so cheap that you expect to pay a police officer an average of $43680 a year (last figures I saw gave the average wage of a police officer at $21.00 an hour, I can tell you from personal experience that most make less then that, and that big departments in high cost of living areas drive that average up). Let's subtract the cost of minimal firearms training. That leaves us with $38500 a year. What other training that you demand your employees to have that you are you too cheap to pay for? What do you think your standard of living would be if your husband was required to pay for his training out of pocket?

One consequence of making excuses (as teachers do) is that it leads to a confession of fraud. If one knowlingly takes money for a job they know they cannot do, that's fraud.

No one here is making excuses but the taxpayers who are too cheap to pay for the services they demand from their government. What do you think C&GS or the War College costs? Perhaps you'd care to reimburse the taxpayer because you needed those courses to do your job and it was your responsibility to have that training, not the Army's to provide it for you..........

Jeff

sacp81170a
September 1, 2008, 03:48 PM
I think Vern is saying, in a round about way, that cops who are bad shots are committing fraud....


Then how, pray tell, do you define who is a "bad shot"? Seems to me that the only way to go about that is to have an objective qualification with minimum standards and dismiss those who fail to pass that test. Oh, wait, we already do that, don't we? ;)

ravenwolf71
September 1, 2008, 03:57 PM
tpaw, I'm talking about the incident where the NYC police fired at a parked car killing a man I think on his wedding night parked outside a car a few years ago (if i'm not mistaken).

pbearperry
September 1, 2008, 04:09 PM
Comparing cops and civilians in a hit probability is not even a comparison.If a civilian has to draw his gun once in his life and everything ends up ok hes batting 1000.Cops have to pull their guns too many times to even count.Plus bad guys are more afraid of civillians with guns.

csmkersh
September 1, 2008, 04:12 PM
Jeff, it is usually a matter of money, as you know. But in some cases it's a matter of attitude by HQ. I've an acquaintance who is a retired MOS NYC PD. He stated several times that the folks at Police One Plaza didn't like to see the officers highly proficient marksmen. Afraid the liberal press would label them as hired killers.

pbearperry
September 1, 2008, 04:14 PM
Heres an easy way to end this so most are happy.All cops suck and they are worthless, and all civilian gun owners are superior beings.OK now?Now go back to dreaming about open carry so you can get your jollies.Waa wa I want to carry my gun like the po pos.

sacp81170a
September 1, 2008, 04:39 PM
csmkersh:

He stated several times that the folks at Police One Plaza didn't like to see the officers highly proficient marksmen. Afraid the liberal press would label them as hired killers.

me:

When's the last time you heard a chief LEO brag about what good shots his officers were? Maybe in private, but never where an ACLU lawyer could get wind of it, that's for sure.

My point exactly. There are several things militating against police being the "best" at everything we do. There's political as well as budgetary pressure against getting the best training in pure combat marksmanship, but on the whole police, as a group, are more experienced with violent confrontation than most others in our society. That experience, in my book, counts for a lot more than how well you punch paper.

I would bet that a lot of the folks here who are complaining the most would fail our yearly paper punching test the first time around...

Reyn
September 1, 2008, 04:47 PM
$2000, a weekly practice session at let's say $60 a session, we've got $3120 more invested. That's $5120 that he doesn't have to spend on his family, because you, the taxpayer are so cheap that you expect to pay a police officer an average of $43680 a year (last figures I saw gave the average wage of a police officer at $21.00 an hour, I can tell you from personal experience that most make less then that, and that big departments in high cost of living areas drive that average up). Let's subtract the cost of minimal firearms training. That leaves us with $38500 a year. What other training that you demand your employees to have that you are you too cheap to pay for? What do you think your standard of living would be if your husband was required to pay for his training out of pocket?


Thats even better than here. Starting pay here is 12.00 an hr. Starting pay in 2003 here was 9.27 an hr for deputies.

New Sheriff got the minimum raised due to nobody wanting it and people leaving. A married man with a kid qualifies for foodstamps. Which some are on.

Jeff White
September 1, 2008, 04:56 PM
Thats even better than here. Starting pay here is 12.00 an hr. Starting pay in 2003 here was 9.27 an hr for deputies.

New Sheriff got the minimum raised due to nobody wanting it and people leaving. A married man with a kid qualifies for foodstamps. Which some are on.

Exactly! Most officers work on departments of ten sworn officers and smaller. Often pay is barely above minimum wage. But to the THR anti police crowd they are committing fraud because they choose to feed their families instead of pay for their own training....

Jeff

sacp81170a
September 1, 2008, 04:58 PM
He doesn't spend his off work time welding. He spends his off work time with his family.

Which is part of the reason I volunteer. I don't get paid, buy my own gear, pay for my own ammo, etc. I intentionally take the shifts the younger guys would otherwise have to work like Christmas and Thanksgiving so they can spend the time with their families. Which one of you "non-LEO's" who are so critical of your local police want to step up and fill their shoes, even if it's just to give 'em a break on a holiday or two? I meet all the standards, money for training comes out of my own pocket, and rather than ask for anyone's taxes to be raised, I pitch in and actually put my butt on the line. Does a single one of you have that commitment?

New Sheriff got the minimum raised due to nobody wanting it and people leaving. A married man with a kid qualifies for foodstamps. Which some are on.

Sadly enough, that's why a lot of the small PD's around here have a hard time keeping quality folks on the force. The good ones find better jobs with other agencies.

Werewolf
September 1, 2008, 06:02 PM
Exactly! Most officers work on departments of ten sworn officers and smaller. Often pay is barely above minimum wage. But to the THR anti police crowd they are committing fraud because they choose to feed their families instead of pay for their own training....
One might consider that in a situation like that if the officers wanted to continue feeding their families that they'd find somehow to train. A dead officer isn't going to feed anyone.

sacp81170a
September 1, 2008, 06:18 PM
A dead officer isn't going to feed anyone.

Uh-oh. Now you're gonna kick off that whole debate about how police officers inconveniencing the public in the name of "officer safety"(otherwise known as "good tactics") is an unconstitutional infringement on their rights, demeaning to non-LEO's, and evidence of the "militarization" of police. Best not to get the anti-police faction cranked up...

Officers'Wife
September 1, 2008, 06:21 PM
Hi Jeff White,

No, it is the employers job to provide adequate training. Perhaps we should just disband TRADOC, close all the service schools and require our Soldiers to be committed enough to their occupation to invest in the skills they need. It works for me, I can probably make a lot of money providing said training

Indeed? Then why isn't my employer paying off my student loans. Or for that matter the student loans of the doctors, nurses and especially the paramedics in the ambulances?

As for your brother-in-law, did his employer train him in the basics of his trade? If they did, please have him send me an application. It has to have better pay and benefits than a lab tech. Speciality training is comparing apples to oranges. I'm making the effort not to insult your intelligence, please return the favor. Thank you.

Selena

isp2605
September 1, 2008, 06:30 PM
I believe Massad Ayoob had some anecdotal (or maybe even statistical) info that when departments adopted full capacity semi-autos after revolvers, the hit percentage went down. It might have been the Illinois State Police.
You remembered wrong. What MA found was after the ISP went to autos the hit percentage went way up, nearly double the average LEO shooting encounter. Hit percentage was about 66%.
The statistics really don't tell anything because you first have to understand the dynamics of a LEO shooting engagement. Who typically fires the first shot in a LEO encounter? It's the BG and the LEO is returning fire, while under fire. When the LEO makes the approach to the BG the BG has already determined that at some point he's going to fire. He's already made the mental and often physical movement to fire. The LEO is reacting to the BG's actions. How many can honestly say they can regularly hit a moving target who is already firing at them? If you think it's easy then you haven't been there.
Too many internet commandos brag how they go to the range and can hit a make believe target X number of times. These are the same internet commandos who espouse they'll take a head shot. They just show they don't know what they're talking about and have never been thru it. I've spent a lot of years on the range and never yet had one of those targets fire back let alone start shooting at me first. Even with simulations it's not near the same. Even with the sim/paint guns you still know that at the end of the training you're still going home with no additional holes in your body.

Thats even better than here. Starting pay here is 12.00 an hr. Starting pay in 2003 here was 9.27 an hr for deputies.

Exactly. People don't realize what most of the LEOs get paid. Jeff is correct about the size of most agencies. In about 2000 when the local COP thought I was retiring he asked if I'd come to work for him. He had talked to the town board and managed to talk them into offerring me $9.50 per hour. Not going to happen for that money.
Even now, a friend of mine, retired from another state agency, just started with a county agency as a sworn deputy in charge of the jail. Because of his previous experience the county board agreed to give him premium pay of $12/hr.

sacp81170a
September 1, 2008, 06:33 PM
Indeed? Then why isn't my employer paying off my student loans. Or for that matter the student loans of the doctors, nurses and especially the paramedics in the ambulances?

Why did you take out your student loans in the first place? (Hint: It probably has everything to do with the monetary incentive of qualifying for a higher paying job.) As a bonus question, do you pay for ongoing education and training out of your own pocket? After all, if you were truly committed to your profession, you would, right?

Explain which department pays bonuses for higher achievement in marksmanship.

As for your brother-in-law, did his employer train him in the basics of his trade?

As a matter of fact, the department pays for its officers to attend the academy in my state.

tpaw
September 1, 2008, 06:39 PM
ravenwolf71
New Member

Join Date: 04-13-08
Location: Bergen Co., NJ
Posts: 23 tpaw, I'm talking about the incident where the NYC police fired at a parked car killing a man I think on his wedding night parked outside a car a few years ago (if i'm not mistaken).

Still need better documentation. NYC police (not all/in general) discharge their firearms almost on a daily basis. There are too many incidents that are alike. But just by reading your post, firing at vehicle and hitting metal and glass, will not always mean that every round you fire will hit the occupant inside. Bullets deflect and shatter, especially when using hollow points, which I presume is what they were using. Anyway, it's a moot issue. Unless you can provide facts, it's just hearsay and opinion. Let's move on, this will take us nowhere.

Officers'Wife
September 1, 2008, 06:48 PM
Hi sacp81170a

As a matter of fact, the department pays for its officers to attend the academy in my state.

In Indiana as well.

Why did you take out your student loans in the first place?

Because I had a profession I was interested in pursuing that had certain requirements. Had I been going for the money I would have studied law and gone into practice with my cousin.

As a bonus question, do you pay for ongoing education and training out of your own pocket?

Education dealing with Chem engineering yes. The classes I take for the benefit of the hospital are paid by the hospital. Once again, you are comparing basic knowledge to specialized training required for a specific task within a specific industry. I realize 'reasonable deception' is allowable on the job, but in polite company it is considered dishonesty.

Selena

TRGRHPY
September 1, 2008, 07:13 PM
Jeff: To say that the taxpayers are too cheap and such is not a valid statement. The taxpayers don't set budget policies. Our tax is collected and that is the last we see of it. If it turns into pork for some pet project, then that is what happens. If it turns into budget for fixing pot-holes, then that is what happens. I don't think that everyone is for an increase in LE budget, but I do think that there are MORE people who would like to see and increase...that is if we got to choose where our money went. I think the majority of people, like myself, would love to see our cops, firefighters, teachers get massive increases in pay and resources. We don't have to give more (taxes), the beaurocrats have to learn how do budget, starting at the top. Pet projects, pork (not the other white meat), and other government waste takes up a lot of our hard earned money. The gov't tells us that there isn't the money for increases in LE budget, fire dept budget, etc, while they fund all kinds of ridiculous crap that has no social benefit whatsoever. This came out a bit longer than I had intended, but my point is that the budget of the departments is not a result of "cheap" taxpayers. I would much rather see the departments get a budget increase than have the money go to subsidize another Wal-mart.

Erik
September 1, 2008, 07:47 PM
The military analogy is spot on: You get what you pay for, and commit to over the long haul. It is not by accident but design that our fighting forces are the best.

Law enforcement agency wise, that is equally true. The better agencies were built that way, and the quality of their employees is reflected; it is a market thing. If your agenicies and their employees leave much to be desired, look up, typically past the administration through the politicians and into the ballot boxes.

I've been lucky, having always worked in progressive training environments, and come to think about it, usually around them, too. Many of my peers cannot say the same, and their ability to keep up with what I consider "par" is typically beyond them. Firearms knowledge, skill, and ability being only a component of the broader equation; a relatively minor one at that.

"Aargh, he blasphemes!"

One man's blasphemy is another man's truth. It isn't that important. I wish that it were, but it is what it is.

sacp81170a
September 1, 2008, 08:10 PM
The classes I take for the benefit of the hospital are paid by the hospital. Once again, you are comparing basic knowledge to specialized training required for a specific task within a specific industry. I realize 'reasonable deception' is allowable on the job, but in polite company it is considered dishonesty.

Polite company? 'Scuse me, lady, but I'm really glad I don't work for you. The classes you take for the hospital are paid for by the hospital, and rightly so. I budget training for my employees every year, but I don't budget for them to train on a piece of software or hardware that we don't have and don't intend to acquire. Even so, in the IT industry, their knowledge and experience has value and the company pays for their training with the full knowledge that they may take that expertise and find a better paying job. In fact, I fully expect them to. If they weren't ambitious, self-motivated people, I wouldn't have hired them. Even so, our training budget will get cut this year, so we'll concentrate on the "must-haves".

Basic knowledge? If you haven't worked in law enforcement, how would you presume to know what's "basic knowledge" and what is not? In fact, having experience in both worlds, as it were, I find your attitude elitist and arrogant. We "hired help" (I pay for the privilege of exposing myself to danger and stress, by the way, out of a sense of duty to my community) in law enforcement have far more specialized knowledge than you realize. In "polite company", we don't look down our noses at others simply because we consider ourselves to be their betters.

BTW, I have a BS in Industrial Engineering, and an MS in Management Information Systems. The average street cop has far more ability to deal with all kinds of people than any of my "normal" colleagues will ever have.

Thanks for so politely implying that I'm a liar. A courageous person would have just come out and said so.

PS: Your analogies still don't work.

To say that the taxpayers are too cheap and such is not a valid statement. The taxpayers don't set budget policies. Our tax is collected and that is the last we see of it. If it turns into pork for some pet project, then that is what happens.

Well said. In fact, your whole post is the most sensible one I've read in about 3 pages, including my own. ;)

ravenwolf71
September 1, 2008, 08:11 PM
tpaw, I believe it was the " Bell " case ( I believe). Very high profile a few years ago

csmkersh
September 1, 2008, 08:21 PM
Here's on article (http://www.wnbc.com/news/10399066/detail.html) on the Bell shooting by members of NYPD.

The officers were subsequently exonerated.

pbearperry
September 1, 2008, 10:47 PM
Is there any wonder why a lot of cops develope the them and us mentality.Keep up the good work boys.

JoeSlomo
September 1, 2008, 11:04 PM
Indeed? Then why isn't my employer paying off my student loans. Or for that matter the student loans of the doctors, nurses and especially the paramedics in the ambulances?


?

Perhaps because their salaries are not paid with tax payer dollars?

That's a foolish argument you present.

Jeff White
September 1, 2008, 11:29 PM
Indeed? Then why isn't my employer paying off my student loans. Or for that matter the student loans of the doctors, nurses and especially the paramedics in the ambulances?

Why would your employer pay off your student loans? What has that to do with your unrealistic expectation that a police officer totally fund all of his training. If you want your student loans paid off, send me your information in a PM and I'll forward it to my son who's on recruiting duty. Maybe you'll qualify for an enlistment option that pays off your student loans.

As for your brother-in-law, did his employer train him in the basics of his trade? If they did, please have him send me an application. It has to have better pay and benefits than a lab tech. Speciality training is comparing apples to oranges. I'm making the effort not to insult your intelligence, please return the favor. Thank you.

No you aren't trying to insult my intelligence you are trying to change the subject. The basic academy is paid for in Illinois either by the agency or by the Standards and Training Board for small agencies that can't afford it.

But basic LE training isn't the issue here. No one works without completing it. But without sustainment training certain skills deteriorate. Shooting is one of those skills. If you wish for an officer to meet a higher standard you had better be able to pony up the money so that he/she can maintain that proficiency. If you don't, you will be left with officers who can only meet the basic standard.

Isn't your husband an Army officer? Why don't you ask him how frequently his soldiers have to retrain on a task to maintain proficiency. Then ask him how many of them would maintain the proficiency that was built up through hours of sweat on the ranges and training areas if they never trained on that task again, but were left to train on their own time and on their own dollar. Didn't you say he was with Special Forces? Ask him how many rounds his team fires in a pre-deployment work up. Then ask him how many of his men would do the workup on their own time and on their own dollar.

I think you are letting your hatred of the police cloud your judgment.

Jeff: To say that the taxpayers are too cheap and such is not a valid statement. The taxpayers don't set budget policies.

Don't they vote where you live? What about city council and county board meetings, don't they have them? I'm not buying that the taxpayers don't set budget policies. The people who do set budget policies work for the same taxpayers the police do.

but I do think that there are MORE people who would like to see and increase...that is if we got to choose where our money went. I think the majority of people, like myself, would love to see our cops, firefighters, teachers get massive increases in pay and resources. We don't have to give more (taxes), the beaurocrats have to learn how do budget, starting at the top. Pet projects, pork (not the other white meat), and other government waste takes up a lot of our hard earned money. The gov't tells us that there isn't the money for increases in LE budget, fire dept budget, etc, while they fund all kinds of ridiculous crap that has no social benefit whatsoever. This came out a bit longer than I had intended, but my point is that the budget of the departments is not a result of "cheap" taxpayers. I would much rather see the departments get a budget increase than have the money go to subsidize another Wal-mart.

Then get out and get involved. It is so very easy to get involved at the local level where your police department's budget is set. I bet you can talk one on one with your alderman, councilman, county board member by simply making a phone call. I bet if you got all your friends who felt the same way to call, and then show up at a council meeting you could get things changed.

The people who are subsidizing strip malls with with your tax dollars instead of funding basic services get away with it because the voters are too apathetic to stop it or because the voter's priorities are closer to the promise of more jobs that strip mall represents.

I blame the taxpayers because ultimately the politicians do things that they think will please them because that's what gets them re-elected.

Jeff

Officers'Wife
September 1, 2008, 11:40 PM
<I think you are letting your hatred of the police cloud your judgment.>

Don't assume just because someone disagrees with you they are anti-police. At best it makes you look foolish. At worst... the worst is not high road and I'll refrain.

Basic markmanship is a duty not a fringe benefit. Police training in tactics, psychology and the law is a justified expense. Teaching some chimp not to point a deadly weapon at a non target is not.

How to turn on the siren and operate a metal detector in the court house is a bona fide training expense. Being able to hit a target a reason amount of times is a duty inherent to the idea of the citizen militia.

Yes, my husband's people are trained and retrained on a regular basis. Mostly in field tactics and familiarization of new equipment. However, if LEO's were willing to accept the same weapons procedure as the military most of my objections would disappear. Mainly when they are not on duty the weapons are turnen in and locked up securely.

Selena

Tom Servo
September 1, 2008, 11:52 PM
How to turn on the siren and operate a metal detector in the court house is a bona fide training expense. Being able to hit a target a reason amount of times is a duty inherent to the idea of the citizen militia.
Really good point. Unfortunately, the civilian militia has been turning into a pale shadow over the last 40 years.

To sum up the last seven pages, we all wish law enforcement would receive more training in marksmanship (there's no such thing as "too much training" for anybody). There are some very real (and unfortunate) budgetary impediments to this.

Is there really anything else to say on the subject?

Erik
September 1, 2008, 11:57 PM
Selena,
Your position evolving to notions of citizen militia and constructive possession of weapons at shift's end has... what exactly to do with the wide variety commitment to personal and institutional training found throughout law enforcement?

Jeff White
September 2, 2008, 12:04 AM
Learn to take things personnally, it's you I don't like.

I take a certain pride in the people who don't like me. Who a person's enemies are tells a lot about a person don't you think? :evil:

Basic markmanship is a duty not a fringe benefit.

Basic marksmanship is not the issue. No one works who can't qualify. It's just that simple.

Being able to hit a target a reason amount of times is a duty inherent to the idea of the citizen militia.

Citizen militia? How did the militia get into this conversation? What pray tell are the statutory requirements for a member of the citizen's militia? How many targets must one hit and under what conditions? Where is this spelled out in the US Code or the law of any state?

Yes, my husband's people are trained and retrained on a regular basis. Mostly in field tactics and familiarization of new equipment.

You are evading the question. The question was, do you think they should be required to conduct all of their training after IET on their personal time and pay for all expenses out of pocket? Id like you to answer that please. If you don't think they should then your hypocrisy is showing.

However, if LEO's were willing to accept the same weapons procedure as the military most of my objections would disappear. Mainly when they are not on duty the weapons are turnen in and locked up securely.

I'm sure you'd personally accept this requirement for the citizen's militia, just head down to your local armory and turn all of your weapons in. Then when the citizens militia is called out, you can head down there and pick them up. :rolleyes:

Jeff

Officers'Wife
September 2, 2008, 12:09 AM
Hi Tom,

Really good point. Unfortunately, the civilian militia has been turning into a pale shadow over the last 40 years.


As long as the unofficial militia is included in the US Code the color and clarity of it's shadow is irrelevant. Preparation for militia duty is a duty defined by federal law. Marksmanship is a part of militia duty. One would think, those that enforce the law would be in the forefront of assuming that duty.

Selena

Officers'Wife
September 2, 2008, 12:10 AM
I'm sure you'd personally accept this requirement for the citizen's militia, just head down to your local armory and turn all of your weapons in. Then when the citizens militia is called out, you can head down there and pick them up.

When and if I am required under USC to have a duty arm I will be happy to do so.

JoeSlomo
September 2, 2008, 12:16 AM
Yes, my husband's people are trained and retrained on a regular basis. Mostly in field tactics and familiarization of new equipment. However, if LEO's were willing to accept the same weapons procedure as the military most of my objections would disappear. Mainly when they are not on duty the weapons are turnen in and locked up securely.

Madam, you are speaking way out of line.

if LEO's were willing to accept the same weapons procedure as the military most of my objections would disappear.

What "weapons procedures" are you referring to by chance?

The ONLY military units that are even REMOTELY proficient with their weapons, outside of special operations units, are line infantry, and even the line infantry do NOT train as frequently as they should. The combat support and combat service support units are pretty much abysmal when it comes to weapons proficiency.

Like the LEO community they have LOW standards to "qualify" and are only required to do so twice a year. Like the LEO community, the ONLY proficient shooters are those that take a vested interest into that particular aspect of their profession and train on their own, or were actually raised shooting.

Outside of special operations and a select few line infantry units, most military organizations are pretty much CLUELESS on how to develop actual marksmanship skills, and their leaders do NOT emphasize or demand their soldiers to be proficient, but simply require them to "check the block" and "qualify".

Though your opinion may be heartfelt, it is an opinion that is ignorant nonetheless.

Officers'Wife
September 2, 2008, 12:18 AM
The question was, do you think they should be required to conduct all of their training after IET on their personal time and pay for all expenses out of pocket?

Basic markmanship? No, not at all. The army pays for what it needs from it's people. Again, tactics and familiarization should be paid for by the employer, same as for the LEO. Ammunition for target practice? Not after basic training.

Basic marksmanship is not the issue. No one works who can't qualify. It's just that simple.

As it should be, but it is not up to the taxpayer to fund that ability. With the possible exception of the facilities to practice. And that facility should be open to the public that is paying for it. Because, quite frankly. the hostiles on the street know full well that if they shoot a civilian they have something like a 1 in 10 chance of getting caught. Should they shoot an LEO getting caught becomes a near certainty. Ergo, it's the civilians that need the facility more.

Selena

Officers'Wife
September 2, 2008, 12:21 AM
Hi Joe,

Actually I saw about six posts ago that I am arguing one point and Jeff is arguing a completely different point. Once he started his "hatred of cops" BS I saw he deserves no consideration as he speaks from arrogance not knowledge. Therefore I'm under no obligation to try to educate him.

Selena

Officers'Wife
September 2, 2008, 12:28 AM
Hi Eric

Your position evolving to notions of citizen militia and constructive possession of weapons at shift's end has... what exactly to do with the wide variety commitment to personal and institutional training found throughout law enforcement?

Since the thread is markmanship, what is the relevance to this training you speak of? Should the taxpayer be responsible for the training of LEO's in basic marksmanship and safe weapons' handling or is it the responsibility of the individual LEO? In the real world an employee is responsible for maintaining his own basic skills. Public servants want a free ride and insult the public if they dare disagree.

Selena

bogie
September 2, 2008, 12:36 AM
Everyone here who is complaining about police marksmanship needs to start circulating a petition to raise their taxes to pay for more training. If you are too cheap to pay for adequate training for your employees, you have no right to complain about their proficiency.

Jeff, to get back to this...

I don't mind paying more for 'em to train more, and to practice more. But if they avoid the training and practicing until the day before they have to shoot their qual, I'd -really- like the right to be holding the button for the embedded taser to be used when they screw up.

"Why are these 9mm holes on my target? I shoot .45s? Oh... It's zap time again!"

Just think of it as a bit of reinforcement for the slower learners among the ranks...

And Jeff, have you looked at the news lately about the St. Louis department? It goes all the way to the top... Or maybe from the top...

ArfinGreebly
September 2, 2008, 04:36 AM
Wow.

Talk about your thread drift!

This reminds of the experiment with the room full of mouse traps and ping pong balls.

Jeff, hope you don't mind, but I'm gonna put a lid on this.

And, with that, it's past my bed time.

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