I’m a police FTO (Field Training Officer). Before trainees arrive on my patch, they receive rigorous firearms training at the Police Academy (insert joke here). For one week, for 10 hours a day, they hear the same thing: “On the line, from the holster, two rounds. Two rounds. READY, FIRE!” After following the command, they re-holster. And then repeat the drill, shooting at various distances with more or less rounds. The resulting draw is as automatic as clockwork. Uh-oh . . .
For most recruits, drawing your gun from a standing position is Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). In reality, a cop may have to shoot from any position short of the more advanced contortions found in the Kama Sutra (and maybe even those too). Drilling down (so to speak), there’s a high chance they’re going to have to shooting while sitting down.
Police officers are sitting ducks. They can’t anticipate every threat when sitting in their patrol car—especially in urban environments. Remember the Detroit cop shop shooting? Say what you will about cops and donuts, police officers are also vulnerable when sitting at the table of their favorite calorie intake establishment. And how many times are police knocked to the ground in combat?
In short, when it comes to shooting from a seated position, a police officer can’t get enough training. The police academy I attended had an outside shooting area set up like a restaurant. Shoot-don’t-shoot targets would pop up at various ranges. The training was awesome. And it was the last seated shooting training I ever received.
When I’ve got a trainee with me during FTO, we park our patrol vehicle in a safe location and make the gun safe. I then teach the officer how to draw his or her gun. Over and over. We vary the scenarios, from a traffic stop to a suspect approaching to a distant gun battle.
Shooting is the easy part. Mastering the art of drawing a gun smoothly from a chair or car seat and bring it to bear using your sights is the real challenge. So . . . practice. It’s a skill that may well save your life.