Here's how RangeMaster Pro works:
After following the software's quick start instructions, enter the names of your instructors and your armorers.
Now, you can set security access for the database, giving rights to certain users to update and administer the application while others may only view data when it's necessary to do their work. This is an excellent feature in RangeMaster Pro. Accounts can be created and deleted as necessary by those who hold administrative rights.
Next, populate the database by entering identifying personnel information and firearm information including make, model, caliber, and type. If you choose, RangeMaster can also track the holster used by each officer. This could be an excellent source of data for studies on weapon retention.
The software is also capable of tracking other equipment issued with supplemental fields on the corresponding screens. You can easily track anything issued to your department's officers, including ammunition, cleaning kits, targets, carbines, or anything else.
Once you have the basic information in your database, you can use RangeMaster Pro to create a "course of fire." Each course of fire can be given a unique course ID and a complete description, including total rounds to be fired, maximum possible score, passing score, distance(s) for the shoot, and the location of the training.
After the training session, you can use RangeMaster Pro's built-in reporting tools to discover who missed the qualification. You can also prepare several after-training reports using the software's built-in templates for such concerns as ammunition usage, course details, types of weapons used, etc.
In addition to the built-in query and report tools, RangeMaster Pro also allows you to use third-party tools such as Crystal Reports or custom reports. This lets agencies with hundreds of employees build custom reports that fill their needs, while smaller agencies may not find it relevant or necessary.
A revision of RangeMaster Pro is under way. Users should expect a leap to Microsoft's newer Access engine within a year. But when that happens, be warned, you'll have to jump up to newer hardware and, more than likely, a new operating system, too.
Since CornerStone's programmers are in the process of revising RangeMaster Pro, I'd like to make some suggestions.
How about an import tool? Many larger agencies have Access-compatible databases, and I'm betting that these users would rather import than re-key information.
I'd also like to see a pre-populated firearms database. Most law enforcement agencies restrict their duty weapons to a limited number of manufacturers and models. Having this information built into RangeMaster Pro would save a lot of time.
Another great addition would be some supplementary personnel features such as a field for entering the names of supervisors, days off, and unit information. With these fields, users could potentially use RangeMaster Pro not only to track, but also to schedule firearms training.
You can download a demo version of RangeMaster Pro at www.cornerstoneapplications.com.
Bob Davis supervises the San Diego Police Department's computer lab. He has 26 years of experience on the force.