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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200612 Find in a Library
Title: Marksmanship Skills of Female Police Recruits: Impact of Basic Firearms Training
Journal: International Journal of Police Science and Management  Volume:3  Issue:4  Dated:Summer 2001  Pages:303-308
Author(s): Michael T. Charles; Anne G. Copay
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 6
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses whether the basic law enforcement firearms class adequately prepares female officers.
Abstract: Women represent approximately 5 percent of the police recruits coming to train at the Police Training Institute (PTI) at the University of Illinois. These female recruits may be at a disadvantage in regard to marksmanship skills. The majority of male recruits are already familiar with firearms because they received training through the military, law enforcement, or corrections. It is rare for a female recruit to have previous training or experience with firearms. PTI female recruits have lower grip strength and shoulder strength than their male counterparts. It is important to determine if grip strength significantly lowers the female officers’ marksmanship ability and to determine what steps could be taken to overcome this deficiency. This study investigated whether the basic firearms course allowed female recruits to compensate for their initial lack of firearms experience and their weaker grip strength. Recruits with little or no handgun training were identified in all the classes starting at the PTI between October 1995 and September 1997. The grip strength and marksmanship of the recruits were measured on the first day of the police academy and their marksmanship was measured a second time on the last day of the firearms course. Results show that by the end of the basic firearms training, female police recruits had overcome their lack of training and familiarity with handguns. The firearms training significantly improved the marksmanship of both male and female recruits. Women’s marksmanship scores remained slightly but significantly lower than men scores. This small difference in marksmanship appeared to be due to women’s lower grip strength. Recommendations include issuing female police officers with a weapon that is suited for their grip strength and hand size, and increasing grip strength by training. 1 figure, 3 tables, 3 references
Main Term(s): Police firearm training; Police women
Index Term(s): Firearm training; Police safety techniques; Police training; Police weapons training; Police weapons use; Weapons handling safety guidelines
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