Chicago police recruits rarely flunk out, raising concerns about training the headline at chicagotribune.com proclaims. Copy that. Just three percent of Windy City cops bounce out of the academy. As our resident math maven Foghorn will tell you, you can round that down . . .
to zero. The former head of the Police Academy isn’t saying much about the reasons behind the high pass rate — except that it ain’t no big thing.
Retired Deputy Chief Howard Lodding, who led the academy from 2009 to 2013, said he could not explain why the department’s attrition rate is so much lower than those of some other academies, but he said he and his staff kicked out recruits when necessary.
“Just because you lose people doesn’t make you a better police department,” he said. “You’re not there to fail people — you’re there to ensure that they have the skills necessary to go on and do that job.”
So instead of a participation badge, lousy recruits get a real badge! By the way, the comparison was with the Los Angeles PD, which flushed 16 percent of their recruits. Which is still worryingly low.
And now to ballistic qualifications . . .
Between 2013 and mid-2016, 63 [out of 1,750] recruits flunked the Los Angeles police academy after failing firearms testing — dozens more than the number who didn’t graduate from Chicago’s academy for any reason during the same period.
Los Angeles’ shooting tests are much more extensive than those in Chicago. Los Angeles recruits have to shoot in low light and in simulated combat conditions, with varying accuracy standards. California’s state standards holds that officers have to fire more than 250 rounds in testing.
Chicago follows state standards for firearms testing, and a recruit must shoot 50 rounds total at an 8.5-by-14-inch target from 7, 15 and 25 yards, hitting at least 70 percent within varying time limits.
Just hitting it? According to a source within the force, the quals are still based on six-round revolvers. We’re still looking for the time allotted for each string and the firing procedure….
I wonder how many Chicago police officers fail their annual qualification — even after their “intensified training session.” Meanwhile, the CPD are putting more focus on their “de-escalation training.” Good luck with that; they’re going going to need it.