Chanting “no range, no train,” all 71 members of the Yale Police Benevolent Association, the union that represents many Yale Police Department officers and patrolmen, protested the YPD’s new firearm qualification policy last week.
The protest, which took place outside the YPD’s headquarters concerned a controversial new firearm training rule for YPD officers. Before this summer, when officers failed a test for gun proficiency twice, they entered a 30-day remedial period to improve and could repeat the process of testing and training until they passed. But in June, the Yale Police Department enacted General Order 302C, a policy that added disciplinary actions as severe as dismissal when officers fail to reach a designated level of gun proficiency after being given 30 weekdays to reach that level.
Rich Simons, the YPBA president and a YPD patrolman, said he found the new policy restrictive and the 30-day time frame most troubling. He said the University cannot expect officers to pass the test in such a short period without providing them with a reliable location to practice shooting.
Mike Hall, YPBA spokesman and a YPD patrolman, and Simons said that due to the lack of available nearby shooting ranges, officers have had to travel to neighboring towns to find places to practice. Some officers have traveled as far as Glastonbury, about a one-hour drive from New Haven, preventing them from receiving optimal training, Hall told the Yale Daily News.