There are dramatic differences between police and military firearms training. Police shooting techniques generally are defensive while the military trains for offensive operations. Indeed, marine response to ambitions is to turn into the ambush and engage with full auto fire while advancing, generally police respond by seeking cover or concealment and engage in dialog attempting defuse a situation.
Police VS Military Collateral Damage
The military goal is to bring the enemy to battle and then engage and defeat him in sustained offensive, and though they try to limit collateral damage, it is a secondary consideration. But the law enforcement officer will be held to account for any collateral casualties and have a post engagement responsibility to the attacker. Once neutralized the aggressor will receive medical attention for any wounds he may have accumulated.
Ammunition of Police VS Military
Full auto weapons look devastating in the movies. But most military engagements by the rifleman is in semi-automatic mode. Full automatic weapons consume prodigious quantities of ammunition. The typical cop and civilian can carry only so many rounds of ammunition. Even the military practice fire discipline and most engagements are semi-automatic. US arms are limited to a three shot burst to control ammunition consumption. You have what you have and ammo resupply may not be practical during a engagement or for police or personal carry, none existent. Machine guns or squad automatic rifles are use for suppression, not a viable tactic for police or personal concealed carry. Most ammo supplies for law enforcement and personal carry seldom exceed three magazines or less than 50 rounds. At the end of a civil engagement all rounds fired have to be accounted for. “Spray and pray” is not a viable tactic for civilians or law enforcement. Needless to say training for police varies somewhat from military training.
Rules of Engagement
Rules of engagement, the regulations that dictate when and under what conditions an armed response will be. Police have a duty to defuse a violent situation, conditions permitting. Technically they have to identify themselves as law enforcement and their intent to engage with deadly force if the suspect doesn’t cease his aggressive actions. For police the goal is to de-escalate, while the military’s mission is to actively engage their adversaries. The ideal goal is to protect and serve or preserve your life, but if the background is filled with bystanders, in many cases restraint is required of the police or private citizen. It does no good to drop the aggressor to find out after that adults or children were caught in the fire. There are techniques available to respond to aggression in a crowd, but collateral damage is little tolerated on legal review.
Pistol or Rifle
Most military engagements occur at less than 300 yards. Police and personal protection scenarios seldom exceed 7 yards, and usually less. The sidearm is the prevalent go to self defense tool of police and concealed carry. But the military emphasizes engagement with the long gun, i.e. the rifle. The typical military engagement occurs at range, few are those riflemen that have a knowledge of a personal kill, however, civil and police engagements tend to be up close and personal, with full knowledge of actions and outcomes. All those who carry arms have a responsibility to be competent marksman with a high degree of situational awareness.