Budget cuts and qualification shoots.

This is a discussion on Budget cuts and qualification shoots. within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I got do do some shooting at the local LEO range yesterday as part of a sales/demo we were doing for a local agency. With ...

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Thread: Budget cuts and qualification shoots.

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    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    Budget cuts and qualification shoots.

    I got do do some shooting at the local LEO range yesterday as part of a sales/demo we were doing for a local agency. With budget cuts being threatened, we were doing our best to sell them some patrol rifles, demo some new shotgun ammo, and generally shoot the breeze with the troops. We also got to shoot their qualification course as mandated by the state (Florida), a leisurely 40 rounds from 3 to 15 yards with 32 hits anywhere in the torso(!) of a B27 target passing. The instructor told us they had dropped from quarterly qualifications a few years ago to twice a year, and now to one qualification a year. He also told us the FDLE (the Florida Dept of Law Enforcement, who regulates such things) only mandated the qualifications every 2 years and that was being considered by the brass. Several other small agencies there told us they were having trouble getting duty ammo for handguns (which they use for qualifications) and were thinking of going to FMJ for the quals.

    Now these are a great bunch of troops, and they do the best with what they have, but there is now zero funding for them to do anything but the state mandated shoot. Zero additional budget for anything beyond. Anyone think 40 rounds every two years is enough to qualify any LEO? I didn't think so. Anybody else hearing this from their agency or local PDs? They told us the only ammo easy to get was .223 and 12ga lately. Anybody else care to comment on that? We havent had a similar budget crisis at the F.D., although future hiring is on hold for a couple of months we still have a decent training budget.

    They did like the Kel Tec .223s, though. They think the shotgun is "outdated"

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    VIP Member Array ExactlyMyPoint's Avatar
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    Of course this is slightly different, but I was watching a special on Secret Service agents. They have to qualify every month. And apparently it is not just hitting anywhere on the target. Their aim has to be good.

    I suppose with the price of gas sucking up any extra cash a police department may have, cutting here "makes sense".
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    Senior Member Array Phillep Harding's Avatar
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    Cutting the qualification shoots might make sense to the bean counters, but what comes to mind is the term "sub-optimization". Saving money in one part of an organization while increasing expenses in another part by more than is saved in the first part.

    What sort of expenses is poor shooting going to create?

    The problem is those increased expenses are contingent, and cannot be directly laid to the cause (lack of practice), and the people with a stake in decreasing those contingent expenses (because they are the ones either shooting innocent people or collecting extra orifices) are seldom the fastest or slickest talkers in the bunch.

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    The biggest problem is that qualification is not training, it's merely qualification. Training should be done in addition to qual, but since qual is generally the only mandated firearms session, it's all that there's time or money for. Training should, for trainees, get them to the required proficiency for qual and/or beyond, and for experienced LEOs, push their boundaries and present more realistic scenarios than the square range qual can.

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    Member Array rmarcustrucker's Avatar
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    Some change for department I help out with (auxiliary police), though WE are shooting less. we are only armed, when needed in the field, not often, and then it's mostly shotgun, unless we are leaving the department and then armed.
    Our shooting schedule has been moved from monthly to every other month. Still Annual qualification. Our qualification is different from regulars. I believe they have lowered the amount of ammo for each session, but I'm not sure. Still doing handgun and shotgun. Still planned on going from Beretta 92 to glock 22 .40 cal. Small department with 80 LEO and 30 auxiliary.

    Been joking about adding a surcharge to speeding tickets if we have to chase ya...some citizens wondering if we could go to bicycleson patrol. guess that would cut down on response time to calls...but unless they are the ones calling I guess they don't care.

    hope that helps some. Yes, seems to many cities are feeling the crunch. I'm sure they'll just raise taxs...seems to be the trend.

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I find it amazing that people feel more secure with a guy that shoots 80 rounds a year to qualify in basic handgun course because he has a badge,than somebody like myself that shoots at least 200 rounds of centerfire pistol at each range session and goes to the range 2 to 3 times a week.I use to get 100 rounds a month to practice with when I was an LEO and only a handfull of officers would show up on range day so it's not about ammo it's about whether most officers even practice with the one tool that the first shot could make a difference in life or death
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    Senior Member Array Skygod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AgentX View Post
    The biggest problem is that qualification is not training, it's merely qualification. Training should be done in addition to qual, but since qual is generally the only mandated firearms session, it's all that there's time or money for. Training should, for trainees, get them to the required proficiency for qual and/or beyond, and for experienced LEOs, push their boundaries and present more realistic scenarios than the square range qual can.
    Agree!

    If a department is going to have to cut out yearly qaulifications due to increased ammunition costs, then how's the officer going continue to maintain his or her firearm skills? Assuming he or she has any.

    Our local dept recently purchased 8 DMPs AR15's and two of the eight have yet to fire, let alone zero their irons on the weapons. I don't know about you, but it's in my professional and personal opinion that this dept has no need to employ the rifle until they have taken at least one extensive tactical shooting course involving the AR15 rifle. This of course brings us back to the funding issue.

    Another point:

    I pay for all my own ammunition. Why can't the officers ? I have also payed out of my pocket to attend several carbine courses to include a tactical and pistil combination course and they aren't cheap. Then again, I take my safety and firearm proficiency serious. I suppose some officers do not.

    If their serious about proficiency with their arms, then a weeks vacation to a Larry Vickers course is not going to hurt them, rather save them.

    My .02
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