Question for any cops here.


#1

Why do you think there is little to no training provided for the average cop? My Grandfather was a cop for around 30 years, he always talked about the lack of discipline and training with most police officers. You turn on the tv or look online and its not hard to see where a lack of training among LE is kind of an issue. Im curious why the gov. dosnt have cops training on a regular basis , even one weekend a month would be better than just a yearly qualifier.

I am not cop bashing here, I am genuinely curious. You would figure a job as demanding as LE would have a better system of preparing officers for some of the shit they go through. Especially for cops in places like Chicago , Detroit, St. Louis etc.

@Robocop1051 , @ARTrooper , what is your take on this?


#2

Funding is the biggest thing.

the other thing is training takes time. you put an officer into training on the schedule and that’s one less body working the road. so then you are paying someone to train, but you have to pay another person to cover their normal road shift (again coming back to money also). and most departments are having trouble filling cars because the number of applicants is way down.

how do we get more applicants, increase incentives such as pay. again we are back to money. but the sad fact is most truck drivers I talk to are making more money than I am, same as construction workers on the road, and many other jobs. my uncle as a welder made more money than I did. I have heard some officers leaving to work in waste management. the county I work in lost 5 deputies, including a lieutenant, to go work at fed ex last year. In my rural county that is a lot of lost officers considering there is usually only 3-5 on duty at a time. I have recently seen departments in large/dangerous cities hiring officers with starting pay below the poverty line.

So I think to get better training for officers, we need to be able to have the number of officers necessary for the department, which means increasing incentives in order to make it worth while for people to risk their lives (doesn’t help when there is a war on cops). And increase funding for basic equipment and bullets.

So where is the local and state governments putting this money that law enforcement needs? hmmm


#3

Makes sense, Cops really should have a little more training than yearly qualifiers. The National Gaurd does monthly training and according to my buddy he made shit pay doing it. You would think with all these assholes attacking cops and labeling them as monsters that there would be a bigger push for getting officers trained . My grandfather loved his job but he said 9 times out of 10 its usually a rookie with a lack of training and a big head trying to prove himself that causes the issues. Mind you, he retired in the 80’s so that was a way different time.


#4

I am not in LE, but have a few friends that are either retired or active LE.

They say it all comes back to money just like @ARTrooper said.

One guy said he trained (shooting) a lot more when department paid for it. Then the department said he has to pay for rounds. So range practice became a rare thing because he can’t afford it.

Another guy said that when women were allowed to apply, and when some of the physical training was too difficult for them, the standards were lowered. I hear USMC is currently dealing with “equality” issue.

But I agree, main reason is that many departments have their funding cut down, and that creates many problems.

Personally, I could never patrol the streets or respond to some of those calls. I still cant believe how much self control you must have to be in a car pursuit where the suspect is shooting at you until he runs out of ammo and stops, and then you have to worry about not hurting the guy because that would be police brutality. I couldn’t not hurt the guy.


#5

@ARTrooper is spot on… it’s all about the Benjamin’s!

LE has a job to perform, so unlike other outfits, we can’t take from the streets without replacing someone on overtime. So understand that every hour of training is covered and paid for at 1.5x rate.

Let’s take a small (31 bodies) fictional department for example, and try to give them a monthly training. We can’t take everyone off the street at once, so we’ll break it up to reasonable sized classes every week.

3 instructors is a reasonable size
7 officers in training is an average class

Let’s assume they all make $20 per hour for the ease of math. Now the agency/city/county/state has to pay 10 people $30 an hour (OT rate) for an 8 hour shift. This comes out to $2,400 a week, or almost $10,000 a month… and that’s just hourly rate. This doesn’t take into account all the ancillary things required for a training setting.

There’s no way a small agency (approx 30-ish officers) that pays its officers $20 per hour (approx $40k per year) has the budget to do $120,000 a year in training hours, plus the cost of equipment and facility fees. That would be the cost of hiring 4 to 5 full time bodies.


#6

That is always the root of it. Money. I left because the money wasn’t even close to the work load and political :poop:.

And, your grandfather is right. There are a lot of great cops out there. I’ve worked with some of the finest. But, when you get a 21 year old kid with no life experience and something to prove fresh out of the academy, things get dicey. The hope is you get them squared away before they do something ridiculous. Because, the minute he does, the press is gonna run it into the ground. You never hear major news stories about the good interactions or the lives saved.

We were pretty good about weeding out the rookies that couldn’t cut it. And correcting the ones that could be polished up. But, you can’t win them all, unfortunately. A couple of examples:

1: A rookie fresh off of FTO (a particularly muscular guy) was part of a pursuit. When the car came to a stop, he ran up and punched the driver in the face…through the closed window…and pulled them out of the window (still not how he managed that). When the shift supervisor asked him why he punched out the glass and drug them through the door, he said he was just trying to get them out of the car. The door was not locked. He was not prepared for the psychological rigors or being in a chase and reverted back to his lowest level of training…brute strength. He was corrected on the dangers of running up to a car and the myriad of potential consequences of his actions. And he ended up being a great officer.

2: A veteran officer decided the pay was less than adequate and opted to supplement his income by stealing government property and selling it…on the internet…Turns out when people order items online and receive them with “property of (insert state agency)” tags on them, they make phone calls. He is no longer a police officer. Period.

Of the two, guess which one made the paper.

Training is a huge deal and it’s expensive. But, my two cents: If you don’t have the right kind of people (like mentioned above, if you’re forced to take whatever applicants you can get) and manage to safely get them the right kind of experience, you’re always going to have more issues than if you can. And, the media sits foaming at the mouth just hoping for the slightest slip they can put on a loop and demonize law enforcement. They love that crap.

So, that raises the question: Is it really a training issue? Or are we just bombarded with the bad because the media wants ratings? Police are not infallible. They are just like any other demographic. Some are just crap. But, mostly, they’re good people. And, the number of successful interactions far outweigh the number of failures. But, if the media only tells you about the bad, it stands to reason, people will think they’re all bad. Just some food for thought.


#7

Well that is probably alot of the issues with cops handling stuff wrong. I mean how does one yearly qualifier do much to prepare a guy/gal for something as dynamic, stressful and unpredictable? I mean most patrol cops are not gun guys and barely know much past safety. You would think there would be someway to get them more training. If they can take our tax dollars to fund the military why cant they do it to help officers be better equipped and trained on the homefront? Seems kind of fucky, to me.


#8

What, exactly, would you like them to be trained to do? Are you talking about shooting?


#9

Shooting, physical fitness, some basic scenario based/tactical training, to ingrain how to deal with common situations they encounter. Maybe a few mandated classes/seminars a year on people skills and handling stress better.

For most training they should just do something like the the NG with one weekend a month and a few weeks once a year. The budget constraints seem pretty fucked though. Cops should get more resources.

Tell me this, why is it you always hear people telling civies they need/should get training yet you barely ever hear the same being said for cops? Most do not have more training than your average civie, how is it different? There are obviously plenty of cops that are well trained and do a great job but it should be a matter of improving the weakest link to prevent issues. Its a matter of efficiency and public saftey. Those few asshole idiots doing dumb shit make it hard for the cops that bleed blue and really take their job serious. My grandfather went shooting 1-2 a month, worked out 3 days a week. That is light years above something like the 250lb lard ass here riding around on a motorcycle all puffed up. The guy can barely pass his qualifier and has at least a dozen harrassment complaints against him. Those types are who I am referring too, in general I hold LE in the highest regards. Its an honorable profession that does NOT get enough respect, imo.


#10

Take it easy on the motorcycle cops. We have feelings too. Lol


#11

You are not him, I would be happy if you were the local motorcycle cop. This guy has several restraining orders, an ND, harrassment complaints and has been fired then rehired (supposedly). He is a fatass, a bully and an insult to your profession, imo. I have only had two run ins with him. I dont disrespect cops very much but he felt the need to insult me then searched my rig without a warrant or probable cause, he cited speeding as grounds for suspicion. He found nothing but still told me to watch my ass. Lol I told him if he ever feels man enough then he should drop the badge and talk to me like that off the clock. That guy is a punk, you seem like a good guy and a legit cop.


#12

@jf89, I’m going to try to answer the question of training a little better. But, before i do, I want to be clear I’m not insulting you or trying to be a dick, in any way. It’s just a tough thing to cover and can come across kind of harsh. Want to make that clear, first.

I’m assuming (and, by all means, correct me if I’m wrong) you never served (LE or military) and have not been involved in an actual critical incident. This is not to disparage you, in any way, bud, I promise. I’m actually glad for anyone who’s never had to deal with the Hell that is a real gunfight.

The reality of training is…there’s no real way to prepare for those incidents until you’ve actually been in one. That’s a tough pill to swallow for a lot of people (my students included). That’s not to say training isn’t important (Again, I teach it. I wouldn’t waste my time if it weren’t weren’t incredibly valuable). The minute your ass is on the line and bullets are flying and adrenaline kicks in and fear takes over, you’re lucky to remember half of the training.

Fine motor skills go (gotta work a safety on a Beretta or a 1911? Good luck). Tunnel vision or hyper focus hijack your senses. Your perception of time changes (It speeds up or slows down. It’s different for different people). You can’t hardly hear (this is stress related. Not gunfire or explosions. Those things don’t help the situation, though).

And that’s just the stress your body is putting you under. That’s not taking into account breaching a door or physically fighting or shielding a non-combatant or victim or administering first aid (to others or yourself). It’s an absolute shit sandwich. And, the only thing that is going to help at all is training (that has been made muscle memory) and having been in it before.

I can teach all the classes in the world, but if the student doesn’t repeat it in their own time enough to ingrain it into their subconscious, it won’t help. And, even then, there’s no guarantee. There is science and philosophy and a million other ways to prepare someone for those incidents. But, rule number one, is it’s chaos, it’s ugly, and there is no real way to be prepared for it.

As a result, there will always be people taking the following week to “Monday morning quarterback” what a police officer or soldier does in a split second reaction. And, that officer/soldier could have all the training in the universe, and still respond the same way. That’s the nature of combat.

Could there be more training? Sure. Could it make a difference? Maybe. But, if all we’re discussing is shooting incidents, they’ll always be messy. The main thing to remember is that police aren’t military. They’re police. For the most part, it’s public service and boring. And, even the military is making it up as they go. It’s reflexive fire and hoping you go home.

I don’t doubt that you respect law enforcement. But, the harsh reality is, no matter what, there’s never enough training. And, as for the Guard, those one weekend a month and two weeks a year, aren’t actually training. They’re usually just sitting around dicking off or playing on a camping trip. I’ve seen it. They aren’t really training for real situations, either.

It’s easy to blame someone involved in a shooting for not handling it this way or that way. And to say lack of training is the reason. But, the truth is, there’s no appropriate way to effectively train for it. You do the best you can with what you’ve got and what’s actually accessible (in your head and sometimes around you) at the time. Training helps sometimes. And, it’s wise to have it. But, there is no sure way of recalling it under stress. And, you definitely don’t want the police to turn into a para-military organization (anymore than they already have).

And, it becomes a factor when dealing with a state budget as to how much training actually helps and how likely it is that it will be used. If your officers spend most days getting cats out of trees, it’s not cost effective to spend to money on having every officer SWAT qualified. That’s why “special teams” exist. It gets really tough to justify this class or that class for the average officer when you have to actually justify it to a city council or governor or what have you.

Hope I didn’t come off like an ass and we’re still good. It’s just a rough thing to explain and tends to sound abrasive. You’re right about engaging with other people. They could use more of that. But, as for violent interactions. It really does come down to doing the best you can regardless of training. That is the nature of violence.

As for your motorcycle friend, he may be a douche. However, threatening a police officer (regardless to how douchey he is) probably isn’t the best way to handle that. Just saying. If he’s willing to break the law, he might be willing to add more charges to his list. Be careful, brother.


#13

He threatened me actually, I told him how he could get some if he wanted to go that route.

The rest makes sense and you are right, I appreciate the honesty. I have no desire to do what they do but I do have an uncle that spent a decade as a cop and a Grandfather who spent close to 30 years on the job, they both said/say the samething. Lets put this in perspective, would you be ok with a soldier or Marine not having training? How about physical standards?

This is a serious issue, and us civies have to be around and rely on cops, so it really is an issue for both sides, not just something that cops should worry about. Sorry if I sound anti-coppish, I am pretty pro-cop on most things. I just think after all the incidents lately that some required training would keep all of us safer. #breakdancingfeds lol jk

" We don’t rise to the level of our expectations , we fall to the level of our training." ― Archilochus


#14

I almost used that exact quote. Lol. And, having been there, I’m pretty sure we do send soldiers out without enough training. It’s lowest common denominator stuff with the military. It’s pretty scary, actually. Lol


#15

Thats pretty fucked actually. Ive been reading some of Jim Cirillo’s stuff lately and it just had me curious about police training and standards. He seemed to have been big on his guys being trained. Kind of fucked that a guy who survived that many gunfights ,died in a car crash though.


#16

I dont have the temperament to be a police officer , I also have drinking issues so I would probably end up being a sketchy dumbass cop like the ones I was talking about. Maybe might even end up being something like “Training Day” or “Bad Lieutenant”. Its probably best if I just stick to being an asshole without a badge, for all of our sakes.


#17
  1. Shooting- We talked about this. Comes down to money. I can shoot my duty pistol for practice as much as I want with my own ammo I purchased, but sadly I can’t afford the amount of rounds that I would say would be best for most people to practice with.

But anyone that has ever been shot at will tell you it is completely different than training. You aren’t shooting targets, you are shooting moving people that are shooting back, or more likely shooting first. It wasn’t that long ago the FBI did a study about caliber selection and shootings, and they found very few rounds actually are on target, I think it was something like 2 out of 15. And that is not surprising because you will be engaging that dangerous moving target most likely while you are moving to cover yourself.

Secondly, I know a guy in my agency. He is one of the best shots I know. He runs pistol competitions, 3 gun completions, and trains every single weekend. he has no family so on his vacations he takes every specialized course he can in firearms. A couple of months ago, him and another officer were approaching a wanted subject’s house when they began taking fire from the building. They got pinned down and the subject continued to fire at them. Nobody was hurt because they took cover, but they never fired a single round. You think that’s how this expert marksman trained? Heck no!

Training is great and I think we don’t get enough. But for some people, those skills from training don’t transfer over into real life situations.

Also real life situations transfer into experience. You don’t have to shoot at someone to get experience in firearms and tactical situations. The majority of officers I know frequently draw their weapons on possibly dangerous subjects and do it safely and efficiently. Being a quick and accurate shooter is good, but in our line of work having restraint and using your senses to know when to not shoot is just as important, if not more.

  1. physical fitness- you try sitting in a car 8-16 hours a day, day after day, working 50-80 hours a week. The only available food being fast food, gas station food, or a lunch you could make if you actually had time. everything being eaten in your car because at any moment you could be sent to another call. then when you go home you have a family to take care of. It isn’t easy to stay physically fit. not making an excuse for anyone, but law enforcement isn’t the military where everyone wakes up and go to do PT every morning. Not to mention a lot of officers I know have been in incidents that have left them with injuries.

Some of the best cops I know have a little extra and I would take them any day over the average meat head out there.

  1. basic scenario based/tactical training- yeah we do that quarterly since the academy. but as I stated above with shooting, the best training you get is actually experience from doing the job. the thing is nothing is every basic or the same as a previous encounter.

  2. mandated classes/seminars- yeah I am put to sleep by those every year. how about people act respectful, don’t lie, and follow commands, that will help relieve our stress.

  3. If you think most cops don’t have more training than your average citizen, I would love to know where you get your statistics from. statistically that isn’t even possible because the number of LEOs is so much lower than the number of civies. But not only that, we live these high risk situations almost every single day. We work a job were someone always wants us dead because whether you believe it or not, there is a war against law enforcement. Many officers constantly live in a world of hyperactive alertness similar to how a military member is in a combat zone. And the thing is when we go home, people in our communities still know who we are and can still target us.

What we do isn’t just some training course where you get a certificate afterwards, it is a life style.

I challenge anyone who thinks they can do a better job than most officers or who think they are better trained than most officer, to take up a badge and serve their community. We may not be perfect and our training could be better, but nobody because a cop for the money, they do it to serve.


#18

Actually I said I couldnt do what you guys do. Fair enough on the rest of it though, I meant no disrespect . As far as statistics go, I do not know where or what type of LE you are but my uncle was a patrol cop for ten years in rural Oregon and my Grandpa (for the last half at least) of his career was a cop in Grand Forks ND. Both of them said the same thing, that yearly qualifiers were ,for the most part were it. Not to mention I have shot and when I have time I shoot with a cop in the next town over, he manages to take pistol/carbine classes and is pretty good with a firearm but he says the same thing, only once or twice a year is he required to do anything but qualifiers and the like. Although I never asked him about any of the other stuff on dealing with people , stess etc etc.

Also, I have been on the gun range and seen cops who cant shoot for shit. I was not going off statistics but instead what ive seen and or been told or been around. I get that cops have busy schedules, I work in excess of 15 hours a day , 6 days a week sometimes, doing manual labor, I get it. The lack of training isnt on them anyways. Its on the system. Like you said there is no real practical way for cops to get the training with the hours they work and it would take alot of money to pay them to train, that makes sense, its shitty but it makes sense. I guess, I didnt realize how limited LE was on that type of stuff.

Thank you for the replies and I apologize if came off as a cop hater, that was not my intention.I have had a few “heated” discussions with a few different officers when they were out of line but As I said above, in general, I have nothing but respect for the people in your profession.


#19

I apologize also, I just tend to get pretty defensive with all the scrutiny we go through. I thank you for your support. We do quarterly training. There are a lot of things I wish I could change or improve with my agency and others, sadly I am a low guy on the totem pole and I have no urge to get into the politics of rank.


#20

I read and re-read these posts with difficulty, in as much as all our communities are suffering from ignorance with policy-makers. The collective “We” expect to be protected just like we expect the kids to be taught and other expectations to a Professional level. Funding is a capital issue but finding qualities desired for applicants to public service is as difficult as money. A department invests quite alot for training, and with experience the officer would always be looking for better pay for the same work. The need to feel respected and wanted comes at a price. Circular actions do focus on funding, but how do we place a value on what public service requires? We all got lots of homework to do.