a reply to: Merinda
I think there are many people in the United States of America, who have a well rounded and sensible view of law enforcement, and how best to achieve
some peace and safety for American citizens living there. However, those views are not being absorbed into the legislative paradigm which prevails
over events at the moment. I think most people would agree that police officers ought to be held to a higher standard than a regular citizen, ought to
be expected to behave in a manner which pays proper respect to their place within communities, and should be expected to be trained to a very high
standard in the use of their weapons, and indeed in close quarters combat. This last part needs expanding upon I think.
Part of the problem with the police officers who have made the headlines lately, apart from any psychological issues they might have, is what appears
to be a problem with training. In some of these cases, the training fails before the weapon even leaves the holster, because the intention behind
drawing their weapon is not pure, righteous, or lawful. Sometimes the training fails because the officer sees fit to draw their weapon, when they
should be looking to manually restrain the suspect and place them in handcuffs.
There will, for example, never be a time when a police officer should be discharging rounds at a suspect, if that suspect has no ranged weapon to
hand, and is not within striking range with a melee weapon of some sort. Furthermore, all hand to hand range engagements, ought to be handled with
superior martial arts training, which ALL officers should be thoroughly grounded in, to the point where nothing short of a martial arts trained
assailant with a knife, should pose any physical threat to an officers life. To be clear, unless they can pass a high degree of proficiency in the
arts martial, they should not be employed as law enforcement officials. There should be no police officer who cannot handle a suspect without drawing
a gun to control the situation.
For those moments when the gun at their hip is the only recourse available to them to enforce the law, every officer should be proficient enough with
their firearm to make kill shots at the edge of the effective range of the weapon, to place shots on specific areas of the body when closer in, and to
make certain of killing suspects confirmed as being armed, with tight, controlled, and minimal groups of shots, minimising the chances of a) not
taking the suspect down, and b) risking bystanders being injured by stray fire.
People like to counter arguments like this, by saying that suspects are often moving around and are hard to hit, but if the training was up to a
decent standard, then that argument would be invalid. It is hard to run one hundred meters in less than ten seconds, because I have never trained to
do so. I do not need to do so, and so I have never learned. Police officers DO need to be better with their firearms than they are, and so they MUST
get that training, and learn to have as little trouble taking down a mobile, armed assailant, as they would have shooting bullseyes at the range.
And while on the subject of the range, the amount of range time that is engaged with by officers per year is DISMAL! Check this article out...
This is not the first article I have read which points out that some officers only go to the range in order to re-qualify for their yearly
proficiencies! This boggles my mind! You cannot do ANYTHING professionally, if you only train for it once a God damned year! I do more training for my
job than police officers in the states do for theirs, and my job does not require the occasional use of deadly force! When an officer is not on patrol
or otherwise on duty, that officer should be at a dedicated police range, preferably within the grounds of the nearest large precinct house,
sharpening up their skills, and learning from resident, not contracted, but resident crack shot training officers.
People also say that under fire, under stress, ones reactions and stability physically, are not guaranteed. This means that YET MORE training,
training of the body and mind, to counter that manner of stress down to the point where unflappability is the norm, not the exception, is necessary as
well. Obviously, officers are not receiving ANY of the training types I have mentioned. They miss excessively, they hit bystanders, they find it hard
to kill dangerous suspects, and unarmed ones alike, without discharging a vast amount of bullets, and they are so scared and weak that they have to
draw their guns when they ought to be using their hands.
The fact is, that not all police officers in the US are failing on all of these points, but I would bet you that the vast majority are failing on one
of them, and that is not acceptable.
But there is one aspect in all this, that you simply cannot offer training for. The fact is that police officers should not have power trips, should
not be in awe of themselves, should not consider themselves as over and above others in terms of importance, and should not be allowed to develop ego
problems and keep their jobs. They are though. Not all of them by any stretch, but a significant number.
Lets be honest about all this. Training frequency and quality need to be upped, significantly, if things are to improve, and right along side that
the moral imperatives of officers should be questioned and when found to be acceptable, should be reinforced. When those imperatives are found
wanting, they should be out of a job. It is VERY simple.