New Study: Police Firearms Training Sucks

Just got an email blast from A new study by Dr. Gregory Morrison finds law enforcement training woefully inadequate. The former officer and firearms instructor, now an associate CJ professor at Indiana’s Ball State University, doesn’t quite put it that way, but he should have. Amongst his findings . . .

• In terms of time allocation, “many departments still heavily emphasize requalifying over vital handgun/deadly force training” that introduces new skills and improves existing ones;

• Despite their “vital role,” nearly 40% of agencies do not require firearms instructors to take refresher training once they have been certified;

• Larger departments, which statistically have greater exposure to armed encounters, tend to require fewer firearms training and/or requalifying sessions per year;

• Officers on some agencies are able to pass requalification tests even though many of their shots miss the target entirely, and those who fail to qualify may be allowed to re-shoot until they squeak by, “sometimes without diagnostic and corrective intervention.”

• On whole, “the overarching characteristic” of in-service firearms training is the “wide latitude exercised by departments”–essentially a jumble of inconsistent standards and instructional modalities that too often works to the detriment of officers, agencies, and the communities they serve.