Chris in Alaska has a link to a RAND study on the NYPD which confirms much of what was said here. From Chris’s conclusion regarding the RAND study:
As for the competency ofÂ civiliansÂ vs. police… Â It looks like best case a NYPD police recruit gets around two to four days at the range plus maybe up to 33 hours of classroom academics that could relate in some manner to weapons. Â Every six months they get one day at the range and 95 rounds of ammo for practice on a scripted known-distance target practice style range.
Alaska Tactical’s Defensive Handgun IÂ course is 24 hours of instruction over three range days. Â It also has pre-requisites, so applicants probably have some previous experience bringing them up to match or exceed the 33 hours at NYPD. Â Finally, the class size is small with a good coach to student ratio. Â Front Sight’s basic defensive pistol course is 4 days with 32 hours of instruction. Â That is clearly at least on par with if not exceeding the NYPD police academy requirements.
Furthermore, any civilian who attends IDPA or USPSA matches once every six months or more is getting more refresher training than NYPD. Â Heck, the civilian who goes to the range once every few months and puts a box or two of ammo through their pistol, alongÂ withÂ maybe a little dry fire at home, is doing WAY more than NYPD.
This is not to pooh pooh the profession, but to dispel the myth that a badge imparts magical gun handling competence. I think the officers in the NYPD case were correct to use lethal force, and everyone knows that firing under stress makes your groups go to shit. But a great way to inoculate against that effect is competition. Anyone know of any IPSC or IDPA matches run in New York City? I’d bet there’s not a one.