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NCJ Number: 200619 Find in a Library
Title: Acquisition of Marksmanship and Gun Handling Skills Through Basic Law Enforcement Training in an American Police Department
Journal: International Journal of Police Science and Management  Volume:5  Issue:1  Dated:Spring 2003  Pages:16-30
Author(s): Michael T. Charles; Anna G. Copay
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 15
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article evaluates the marksmanship skills and gun handling skills taught in a basic law enforcement firearms course.
Abstract: Two explanations have been offered for poor police marksmanship. The first is that police firearms training lacks validity. The second is that police officers may have reached physical limitations of their marksmanship abilities. In this study of the acquisition of marksmanship and gun handling skills, recruits with no prior handgun training were selected in classes between October 1995 and September 1997 at the Police Training Institute at the University of Illinois (PTI). The volunteer recruits were subjected to a marksmanship and gun handling pre-test. A post-test was administered at the end of a firearms course. The gun-handling test had three tasks: (1) loading the weapon; (2) unloading the weapon; and (3) clearing a type 3 malfunction. Statistical analyses were performed using computer software. Results show that the recruits significantly improved their marksmanship scores after the training. Both male and female recruits improved, however, the female scores were significantly lower than male scores both before and after the training. Significantly more bullets hit the target after the training than before the training. It took less time for the recruits to load their weapon after the training. The recruits were also faster in unloading their weapon after the training, and took less time to clear a type 3 malfunction after the training. There was a significant reduction in the number of safety rules violations after the training. It was clearly demonstrated that PTI students significantly improved their marksmanship and gun handling skills as a result of the firearms course. It appears that firearms training adequately prepares police recruits to qualify as police officers but it is also clear that an actual shooting situation on the street will place more demands on the officer. 2 figures, 11 tables, 12 references
Main Term(s): Police firearm training; Program evaluation
Index Term(s): Firearm training; Police safety techniques; Police training; Police weapons training; Program design; Services effectiveness
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