In the past, we’ve briefly mentioned some issues surrounding ASUPD’s firearms training unit, and its professional standards (we are discussing the unit as a whole). The problems surrounding firearms training at ASUPD have been already extensively documented within the department, through both formal and informal complaints. Unfortunately, the issues at hand have yet to be even broached within the department, and are still ongoing.
This list is by no means conclusive, but touches on the major issues department personnel have with ASUPD’s firearms training.
- ASUPD’s line-level officers must utilize an outdoor range, while ASUPD’s firearms instructors are allowed to utilize Tempe PD’s indoor range.
- This is self-explanatory. Line-level officers have to suffer through 110+ degree weather and no shade to qualify, while the firearms instructors (and occasionally, an officer tight with the firearms crew) use Tempe PD’s indoor, air conditioned range.
- ASUPD’s outdoor range has no restroom facilities, no access to water or shade.
- The outdoor range in the summer time is like being in hell. It’s dirty, very hot, and very dry. Have to use the restroom? Hope using the open desert as your toilet is acceptable. One officer previously filed a complaint with OSHA regarding the lack of bathroom facilities. Did we mention the broken glass and garbage scattered around the range as well?
- The range is a very long commute for nearly all of ASUPD’s officers…and that commute doesn’t come with reimbursement for mileage (most officers use their POV).
- ASUPD’s officers aren’t provided ammo for practice before qualification.
- Officers already don’t make very much, but having them bear the additional burden of paying for their own ammo to practice is ludicrous. Tempe PD’s officers make more than ASUPDs’, AND they still receive a box of ammo for training purposes per month.
- Some members of the firearms staff create a hostile training environment on the range.
- While handling a firearm, the last thing an officer needs to be concerned about is being treated like a scolded child. Even in emails sent out to members of the department, some of the firearms staff come across as condescending and rude. Qualification is already stressful enough–you shouldn’t be assing up your employees BEFORE they even get to the range.
- The firearms training unit is similiar to a fraternity!
- It is essentially a “good ole boy’s club”, and if you are not part of it, you are treated like an outsider. The mission and focus should be on making sure all your officers can successfully qualify, reinforcing good habits, emphasizing marksmanship…ie, TRAINING! The mark of a good instructor is measured by the officers that succeed.
These pictures are NOT indicative of a “professional” firearms unit, and convey how serious some of the instructors take their jobs.