Tuesday, April 29, 2008

WEEK 12: Firearms training

“In law enforcement we teach the use of firearms as a tool to save the officer’s life – or somebody else’s life,” said Cullen Grisson, TEEX’s resident gun ballistics expert. “Precision marksmanship at long distances is not what police officers are normally asked to do. Usually the gun fights are at very close ranges, traffic stops, pedestrian stops or inside a home – those are the real threats to their safety. Part of it is marksmanship, but a lot of it is the physical and psychological elements involved.”

The firearms training actually started last Friday, after a week of learning about field note taking and report writing. Friday the cadets learned about gun safety, the different types of weapons and why certain weapons are better suited for law enforcement. Basically, it’s a new gun owner’s program.

According to Grissom, some of the cadets will have a gun in their home for the first time.

“Peace officers are expected to be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he said. “So they will be living with a weapon and we try to prepare them to take the gun into their home and what that means in terms of safety.”

Some of the cadets have had experiences with weapons.

“I actually shot for the
Texas A&M Pistol Team in college,” said College Station PD recruit Kellye Cozart. “It is totally and completely different form of shooting and it has absolutely no application for the shooting we are doing here. The stress level is also a lot higher here.”

Bryan PD cadet Georgia Maher learned to shoot once she knew she wanted to become a police officer.

“I’ve been shooting since August of 2007 and since then I shoot quite often at firing ranges,” she said. “I knew this was the line of work I wanted to get into and until August I’ve never had any formal instruction in shooting.” (See Goergia’s patterns on the target to the left.)

Other cadets have very little experience with firearms.

“Sometimes this is the first time some of these folks have ever held or fired a weapon,” Grissom said.

“I haven’t fired a weapon since I was about seven-years-old,” Chad Jones with the College Station PD said. “My dad had a .22 rifle and he let me shoot it one time. This is first time I’ve shot since then. I was nervous and I’ve definitely got some practicing to do.”

They’ll get plenty of practice this week …

“Each student will shoot between 700 and 1,100 rounds with their handgun and a shotgun,” Grissom said. “We take them from basic marksmanship skills all the way up through shooting and moving and using cover, which are the more practical fighting skills that they will hopefully never have to use.”

1 comment:

Bryan Johnson said...

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