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Posted: 7/25/2002 10:44:34 AM EDT
Today I went in for part of the application process at a local department. Part of this process involved dry practice with weapons. The officer hauled out a table full of weapons, without checking them. He then proceeds, to my horror, to pick up each one and pull the trigger and work the action on each one (without checking them) in the direction of another officer in the room. As he switched weapons, he swept the audience with the muzzle. I got a good look right down the barrel. I thought to myself that it was exciting, but not deadly. Surely these have been disabled by removing the firing pin. I asked if the weapons had firing pins and the response was, "yes". HOLY S***. The officer then described that the applicants were to line up on the other end of the room for paperwork processing, downrange of this dry practice. I picked a good time before this activity began to tell the officer that I was a little uncomfortable with this excercise, and I suggested dry firing in a direction away from everyone else. His response was that he checked the guns earlier and they aren't loaded. So everyone lined up and one by one clicks away at the other applicants and officers. When I got up there I kept the muzzle over the heads of the other people and was told that I had to do it over with the barrel parallel to the floor. I clicked away, too, with officers downrange. I thought that if I didn't do it, I would not be hired. Of course, I checked the guns myself to see that they were empty, but I was told that "stuff" (i.e. safe gun handling) was for the range. I heard a story a while back about a rookie officer at this department that was shot in the foot with buckshot by his field training officer. I could hardly believe it at the time, but now I can see how that sort of thing could happen. So my question for you in LE is: Is this what I should expect? How do you handle it?
Link Posted: 7/25/2002 1:05:50 PM EDT
You're joking right?????!!!!!Please tell me the alarm then went off and you had your first cup of coffee!!!!
Link Posted: 7/25/2002 1:30:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/25/2002 1:31:36 PM EDT by leo6223]
No its not normal. But LE is no different from any other professions. There are boobs in every job. As far as dry fire drills pointed at other people, there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, pointing a gun at someone and pulling the trigger (either dry fire or with simunitions) is great training but should always be done in a controlled environment. You are about to enter a job where you will point a weapon at people routinely and in some cases pull the trigger. You have to work that "weirdness of pointing your gun at people" out of your system. But again let me emphasis that this is something that should be done in a controlled environment with all safety precautions observed. By the way, the guys that do recruting and office work are there for a reason. Like the saying goes...those who can...
Link Posted: 7/25/2002 1:51:23 PM EDT
No actual weapon should be used in such a manner without being at least triple-checked, by the immediate user and two other people in the room, for being in a safe condition.
Link Posted: 7/25/2002 1:57:19 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/25/2002 1:58:02 PM EDT
no, that is very starange indeed. but TX is a world unto itself (in a good way) hell, in MI., if you even MENTION weapons during the application or hiring process, you prob won't be hired for fear that you are some "gun toting wannabe lunatic" sadly enough, most cops around here and that i know shoot as little as they can get away with, and if you even hint at proficiency or interest in firearms, you're immediately labeled "tackleberry" sad, but true. i need to move to TX. but, i digress, that was VERY odd and unsafe.
Link Posted: 7/25/2002 2:00:06 PM EDT
Makes you wonder if you really want to work there.
Link Posted: 7/25/2002 3:59:34 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/25/2002 6:03:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/25/2002 6:11:26 PM EDT by Stg44]
leo6223, that may be the reason at that agency, and yours. It's not at mine. I am assigned to the training division. I administer the physical ability test, and firearm proficiency test to all applicants. We live fire the standard 48 round course, LE applicants must qualify 80% or better to progress in the process, detention do not. I spend 1/2 hour going over range safety rules, I demonstrate how to safely operate the Glock 22/23 pistol. I am part of the hiring process because I am the department rangemaster, I am an armorer, and I also run the FTO and reserve deputy program. I have worked CID, NARC, ran the fugitive and civil division, and Patrol, both as a patrolman, corporal, and sergeant. Not everyone in the recruiting process, or out of uniform is an idiot like Maddog50 encountered.
Link Posted: 7/25/2002 6:17:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/25/2002 6:22:30 PM EDT by Maddog50]
Originally Posted By Stg44: I spend 1/2 hour going over range safety rules, I demonstrate how to safely operate the Glock 22/23 pistol.
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Our safety orientation was as follows: "You've all fired pistols and shotguns before, right?"
Originally Posted By Stg44: I am part of the hiring process because I am the department rangemaster, I am an armorer, and I also run the FTO and reserve deputy program.
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It sounds like you are part of the solution. Incidentally, I heard that they recently lost their rangemaster.
Link Posted: 7/25/2002 7:25:50 PM EDT
By "applicants", I assume these are people applying for the job and are in the hiring process? WTF are they doing dry firing for? Are you in the academy? I have never heard of "applicants" handling weapons as part of the hiring process. Not in any part of the country.
Link Posted: 7/25/2002 8:25:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Sukebe: By "applicants", I assume these are people applying for the job and are in the hiring process? WTF are they doing dry firing for? Are you in the academy? I have never heard of "applicants" handling weapons as part of the hiring process. Not in any part of the country.
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It is a validated, court-approved physical ability task. It measures the ability to pull (press or squeeze if you insist on correct terminology) a trigger. Unbelievably enough, there are folks who lack the grip strength to make repeated DA trigger pulls. We do this test, but we use a weapon permanently converted to fire Simunitions (and painted a nice shade of blue), and the weapon is pointed in a safe direction and checked before giving it to each applicant, who dry fires six times without touching the sides of a hole (I think about 6" in diameter) in a board.
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 1:53:08 PM EDT
Stg44, After your post I started to think back at the trainers I've had. I want to retract my original post and say this. For the most part, my experience with trainers has been positive. There are a good group of them that know their "stuff" and are good cops. I think a problem exists though when the trainers are not required to do some time "on the road" now and then. Being away from reality for a long time helps to make you rusty. Always being in a training enviornment makes you forget alot of what reality is like. Even the best trained people don't always function in a true test of ability. Case in point...A trainer who actually had to use phyiscal control didn't exactly prevail in the situation as he intended. It's a nice way of saying that when the shit hit the fan the fancy moves went out the window. Being on the street now and then and dealing with people who don't go along with you to make the technique look good to the student makes a hugh difference. Sorry for pigeon holing all of "you". Gotta admit though, there are people in admin positions because they can't hack the real world.
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 3:13:47 PM EDT
INTOLERABLE!!!!! not speaking for all LEO. it's amazing when we have ocf's. from the surounding cities come to our dept range. some of those ass crickets will have an AD (ND)!! and then the memo comes out...bla bla bla. unbelievable!! my sarge would chop off all our nuts if there were this kind of behavior. i just don't get it.
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 11:17:38 PM EDT
I worked in TX and never witnessed anything as laced with dumbass as what was described. However, I could believe it happening. I now live in the world of "what's marksmenship" and I am called tackleberry. Of course, I was recently made a Range Officer and certified weapons instructor so they can call me $#!*head for all I care. Now, it's my world. [):)]
Link Posted: 7/27/2002 9:31:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/27/2002 9:33:40 AM EDT by Stg44]
No problem 6223, I am an old road dog. I have only been assigned to the training division a couple of months. I am there because our training director, who is about to retire, is a retired FBI agent. Good FBI agent, shitty cop. The FTO program is in a near melt down simply because he doesn't have any real street cop experience. Of my almost 20 years experience, 16+ are in patrol functions, so I feel that I have earned my spurs the hard way. I do agree that some folks migrate to training due to being scared, lazy, incompetent, or a combination of the three. I am there to straighten out the mess. BTW-we require you know how to shoot well prior to being hired. Does anyone else do this? We figure, if you can't shoot, we don't want or need you.
Link Posted: 7/27/2002 9:54:15 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/27/2002 10:00:45 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/29/2002 7:46:31 AM EDT
We dry-fire as part of the application process also. After the written is passed and before the physical agility, the applicant is required to "sling-shot" the slide several times (can't remember how many) then dry-fire ten times with each hand double-action. This was seven years ago when I applied. The weapons were all cleared by the Lt prior, then the armorer and an assistant. We had 300 people take the written so it wasn't feasible to do this in our range which has 5 stations. Granted we didn't use the best backstop (an empty, open soccer field at the HS where we tested). I know of several applicants who were incapable of chambering a round and/or firing double-action as required.
Link Posted: 7/29/2002 8:27:33 AM EDT
When I took the FBI exam 20 some years ago, they had us dry-fire an S&W Model 13 a certain number of times within a set time period. Sorry. Can't recall the numbers right now. The idea was that if you couldn't do that, it was their actual experience that you couldn't shoot the required number of rounds in a training session at the academy. It made sense.
Link Posted: 7/29/2002 5:17:35 PM EDT
Guess I didn't explain myself properly. We only hire folks who have successfully completed the academy. They then have to gain state certification. It has been our experience that if you can't shoot after the academy, you are very unlikely to become suddenly proficient at a required skill. If you were merely an academy applicant, it would be a different story.
Link Posted: 7/29/2002 6:10:12 PM EDT
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