Monday, January 7, 2013

Is Close Quarters Going To Be The New Norm In Police Firearms Training?

Long before I was a civilian crime analyst I was a sworn officer. In fact I spent about 14 1/2 years as a sworn officer. During that time I also spent about 7 of those years as a SWAT operator. I spent quite a lot of time on the range honing my skills with handguns, shotguns and submachine guns during that part of my career. Even now I still get out regularly to put some rounds downrange.

This piece over at USA Today caught my attention. It seems that the FBI is changing their firearms training based on a study of 17 years worth of police shooting incidents that found that the majority of shooting incidents take place at distances of 3 yards or less.

"The thing that jumps out at you from the (shooting incident) research is that if we're not preparing agents to get off three to four rounds at a target between 0 and 3 yards, then we're not preparing them for what is likely to happen in the real world," says FBI training instructor Larry "Pogo" Akin, who helps supervise trainees on the live shooting range.

The FBI is quite influential among law enforcement. I'm sure that we'll see this emphasis in Close Quarters Combat training trickle down to local agencies as well. Like anything else, shooting is a perishable skill that you should practice. It's also important to practice like you'll fight. If you're most likely to fight up close, then maybe you need step closer to the target next time you're out on the range.

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