Firearms proficieny at ASUPD: why it’s a critical issue the Chief isn’t addressing.

One major issue we here at THR haven’t been able to address yet has been firearms proficiency; partially because of the sheer magnitude and depth of the issue, and partially due to the fact that so much of the problems with firearms training have been shrouded in so much secrecy.

There are laws/policies in place which very clearly state firearms qualification requirements.

Let’s do a quick recap of what ASUPD claims its standards are. According to ASUPD’s policy manual:

 An Officer must:

  • Qualify at scheduled range sessions.
    • If the Officer fails on the first attempt, he or she will obtain immediate training from the Rangemaster, or designee, before making the second attempt.

A Rangemaster must, for any Officer who fails to qualify during the initial range session:

  • Complete a memorandum and provide copies to the Officer, the Officer’s supervisor, and the Officer’s Commander.
  • Indicate on the form that the first 30 days have been forfeited if this is the second required course during the calendar year on which the Officer has failed during the initial range session.
  • Schedule remedial training of up to eight hours and a re-qualification shoot.

The Officer’s Commander:

  • Reassign the Officer to an administrative position for up to 30 work days pending qualification.
  • Inform the Officer that he or she is not to carry any firearm in a law enforcement capacity, is not eligible for overtime duty, and is not to perform any off-duty work in a law enforcement capacity for the duration of the administrative assignment.

 Officer fails to qualify, and he or she has not previously failed in another course:

  • Instruct the Officer to remain on administrative duty pending qualification for up to 60 work days from date of the original failure to qualify.
  • Provide the Officer with a second remedial training session of up to eight hours and a qualification shoot.

 If he or she has previously failed in another course that year or has failed to qualify again after the attempt as noted above:

  • Forward a request for disciplinary action to the Chief of Police through the chain of command.
  • The Chief of Police may impose suitable disciplinary action, most often termination for failure to maintain skills necessary to perform an essential job function.
  • Probationary Officers will always be terminated for failure to qualify within the allotted time.
  • Disciplinary actions other than termination will only be considered, if there are overwhelming mitigating circumstances affecting the failure to qualify.

First of all, WHY DO WE HAVE OFFICERS STRUGGLING TO QUALIFY WHEN WE HAVE 7+ RANGE “INSTRUCTORS”?! That’s about 10 officers to every ONE instructor (with such low numbers, the officer to instructor ratio is even lower). You’re such an “elite” bunch of instructors, so PROVE IT. Being a decent firearms instructor is measured by how many officers you can get to shoot well consistently, NOT how many AR-15s you have or how many classes you’ve taken, or how well you can shoot.

Secondly, there is a great disparity in how people are treated if they have problems qualifying. There are several people who consistently fail qualification and aren’t assigned to desk duty, but instead allowed to work patrol because of staffing problems (THIS IS A HUGE SAFETY ISSUE!!! WHY IS THIS EVEN HAPPENING!?) Then are others who get put on admin leave and are threatened with the loss of their job while receiving virtually NO significant amount of training. 

Thirdly, why is no one above the rank of Sergeant required to qualify in front of others at Gila River, but instead have their peers evaluate them at Tempe PD’s air conditioned range? This includes range instructors too! They are all miraculously expert shooters.

How can the Chief look at these issues and think this system has any sort of integrity, is safe, and seems to be working? When you have people consistently failing to qualify, maybe as a leader you should look at the systemic issue, instead of dismissing it on an individual level.

Maybe instill confidence in your officers through adequate training instead of holding their jobs over their heads every time they head to the range?! That would be a good place to start.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 thoughts on “Firearms proficieny at ASUPD: why it’s a critical issue the Chief isn’t addressing.

  1. Justanotherdispensible50 says:

    Firearms training is another ethics test failed by our department. Nobody above the rank of Sergeant qualifies in front of the troops. The firearms gang doesn’t either, but they’re all pistol snipers with the EXPERT pin.

    Corporal Everyotherword F Bomb Luke can’t hit the side of a barn, everyone knows he failed what four, five shoots? Where the hell is his double jeopardy on thin ice treatment?!? Nope, he’s being selectively groomed for Sergeant stripes because of experience NOPE, competence NOPE, not violating civil right NOPE, ability to not come on to every piece of department ass NOPE, attitude HELL NOPE, diversity, politically correct racism! That’s it.

  2. ASUPDsmokeNmirrors says:

    I like the Corporal F bomb reference. Everyone knows that infamous reputation. I can’t wait until I hear what he does to the organization once he gets sergeant stripes. He has a very psychotic messed up idea of race relations. Apparently he was complaining to someone that everyone thinks of him as the “N” word. What?!?

    This is the most stupid shit I have heard around there in awhile. Nothing could be further from the truth. Everyone loved working with some of our former black officers, supervisors, because they were good honest stand up people. They acted like real stand up men, they had likeable personalities that emphasized team, they cared about everyone, and they never used color as a scapegoat for their failings as a person, as a man.

    In short they were like by everyone, including the ladies, unlike yourself who has a new record of striking out at the plate and bottom feeding off another guy’s sloppy seconds. You need to get professional help, read some men’s journals on talking to women, regroup, earn some game, in short get your shit together and stop blaming your failure on irrelevant issues.

  3. Thinblueline1 says:

    The firearms program does need a lot of work to earn the title of being a program. We get no practice ammo and I have heard varying reports of how the attitudes of a firearm instructor can be. The department needs a team atmosphere more than ever and there certainly is a “us and them” thing going there.

  4. Aotimes4 says:

    This is a pet peeve of mine. I know some guys that have horrible training from their department, but recognize that and do their best to improve their own skills. I have also seen some really good and outside of the box training. Personally for me, aside from the obvious utility of being able to shoot well, it is a sport. I would train as hard and often as I could. Matches were won and lost on .01 of a second.

    The thing is if someone had the budget of a police department at their disposal, and the desire to create an engaging and effective training program, it can do some great things. I had some classes where the instructor designed the class in such a way that the shooter didn’t even know they were in reality doing a repetitive and boring exercise. There is really no excuse for a bad training program. There is no shortage of resources available.

    And as a student who relies on the output of this program for my safety (because I can’t provide my own) I am downright pissed off about those failures.

    • theintegrityreport says:

      You should be pissed off! ASUPD has all the resources in the world, but they choose to spend them on silly, unnecessary things (new badges, stupid PR campaigns…things that make the department look good. They have the $ to spend on several firearms instructors, but not on practice ammo, more in-depth classes for those who have a hard time qualifying, and also decent instructors! There are a few that can actually TEACH, but being an expert shooter without the ability to effectively communicate instruction to a student renders most of them useless.

  5. OnefootoutCYA says:

    The concept of, “If it’s not working fix it.” never seems to enter the decision maker mindset at ASUPD. We have seen this for years with the firearms and FTO programs, but slow and stupid reactions to both put us in the crisis we are in without any hope of fixing it any time soon.

    We have a house full of supervisors who don’t supervise other supervisors, messes turn into disasters, and people are standing around scratching their heads wondering why nobody sticks around, why people with years on are leaving. It’s obvious.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *