Every year around a half dozen law enforcement officers die in training accidents. While some of these deaths are related to fitness and health issues---for example an officer that dies after suffering a heart attack during a training run---there are at least two or three that die as the result of firearms or other use-of-force incidents while training.
If you believe the media, it would seem as if negligent shootings of law enforcement officers during training are almost a daily event. In actuality, such incidents are quite rare, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take every necessary step to prevent these tragedies.
Spend any amount of time on or near the firing line and your hearing will become damaged. And with the great variety of hearing protection devices available today, ranging from simple disposable foam plugs to active electronic muffs, you’re foolish if you don’t make the most of them.
Today's DT training is much more gritty, more physical, and closer to an approximation of what officers experience in a real street encounter. Unfortunately, it's also much more dangerous.
The danger is, of course, part of the appeal of being a SWAT officer. But it's also why SWAT training must be approached with the greatest level of precision and precaution.
In this issue of POLICE magazine, we address one of the greatest pressing concerns of police executives and law enforcement: the growing number of serious accidents and even deaths in police training.
Of all training accidents, police officers shooting each other in simulation drills are the most tragic. They are also the most difficult for some officers and civilians to comprehend.
When teaching Field Training Officer (FTO) certification or Instructor Training programs, I challenge each of the prospective trainers to give something back. But that's their job. The question is, have we all been giving back like we should?