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Police Law Enforcement Shooting Range Firearms Training Drills, Courses, Practice Methods & Requirements

Most law enforcement personnel can complete their 20 to 30 years without ever firing a shot at anything other than a paper target. That’s not to say most have never had to draw their weapons in performance of their duty, but most thankfully never have to engage a suspect with a firearm.

Responding to a Deadly Force Situation; Detection of Threat & Initiation of Defensive Fire

Cops (in this sense any law enforcement officer or federal agent) respond to a deadly force situation with only seconds to evaluate conditions. Backdrop; if the bullet misses is the cop going to hit an innocent bystander, a child or anyone that does not constitute a threat? What weapon(s) does his adversary have? Does he have cause to think this is going to be to be aggressive or is he a CCW carrying citizen trying to do his civic duty? What potential danger to the public and himself does the subject represent and is there cover or concealment available? If it’s only the officer, he may be able to draw out the confrontation by obtaining cover. If concealment or cover are available the officer can attempt negotiations to defuse the situation. All these decisions need to be made in a few hundredths of a second, from detection of the threat through initiation of defensive fire.

Law Enforcement Target Shooting Practice & Firearms Training

So why do police departments spend so much time and resources to train their personnel for something that will probably not affect most of them? Well deadly force situations do happen, lives are at stake and there always exists the requirement for public and legal scrutiny when the police employ deadly force. Many police departments on an annual basis also incorporate some form of shoot-don’t shoot training as well. Most police and sheriff departments have outdoor ranges that range in sophistication from simple targets, to turning targets to moving or popup targets. SWAT usually has a training “house” allowing for training in house and room clearing.

Shooting Range Firearms Training Schedule

The typical range has stations from about 3 yards to many as 50 yards. Most engagements occur at about 7 yards, so training is usually restricted from about 3 yards to 25 yards as dictated by practical handgun effectiveness. Hitting a target at 50 yards with a handgun, while possible, is a bit iffy under combat conditions given loss of fine motor skills and other debilitating factors. One hand engagements are practiced from close up 2-3 yards to 7 yards. At 7-10 yards, response time permitting a two handed modifies Weaver stance is encouraged. A good range will be equipped with upright panels to mimic walls to practice barricade support stances as the ranges open up.

Situational Awareness; Cover & Concealment

Police training emphasizes some basic defensive posturing as well. First minimize the targeting area by stooping or squatting. Second use concealment to obscure yourself by making it difficult for the assailant to get a good sight picture. Bushes, trashcans and trees may not stop bullets, but it makes it harder for you to be targeted. Concealment hides or obscures. You must take whatever actions available to improve your chances of survival. Cover will stop or deflect bullets, particularly handgun bullets. If using a car or other vehicle position yourself behind a wheel, bullets can be skipped underneath a car. Go to the front if possible to place the most mass between yourself and the assailant. Trunk areas are mostly hollow, but are better than nothing. The front offers the engine mass that will stop most rifle bullets.

Modular, Containerized Indoor Shooting Ranges for Law Enforcement, Military & Civilian Firearms Practice & Training

Tactical movement is something that needs to taught and practiced so as to become natural and automatic when under the stress of combat. Shooting Range Industries offers custom shooting ranges with simulated, highly realistic interactive scenarios. Contact us to learn more!

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