I just got a reader comment about a post that I had written over two years ago, in which I was asked,
"Why is your off duty course different from your duty course of fire?
Wednesday, October 12, 2016 12:25:00 AM
The answer I gave was:
"A worthy question.
Frankly, we want our officers armed while off-duty, but we don't want them inserting themselves into every hazard which they might come across. By policy, if they carry off-duty, they are are to carry concealed. For that, and for convenience's sake, off-duty guns are typically much lighter and more compact than duty guns. They are frankly harder to shoot well.
An Airweight Chief 1 7/8" barrel five-shot revolver just isn't as easy to hit with, as a full-sized Glock with good sights is.
Our duty qualification far exceeds the state-mandated qualification minimums, includes multiple timed reloads, and shooting on the move. (In fact, 24% of our shots are fired while moving, at 10 yards.) Our off-duty qualification, however, meets the state mandate."
For the past couple of years, we've considered differentiating between "Off-duty" and "Backup Gun" qualifications, but have decided not to. However, if an officer wants to wear a gun that he's qualified with for off-duty, but wants to wear it in uniform (say, for an off-duty gig, or if it is approved for carry on duty), he must shoot the full duty qualification course with it, from his proposed duty rig.
The question may be posed: "Why aren't you holding your off-duty shooting to the same standard as you hold your on-duty shooting?" The answer is that, usually, the off-duty officer is not going to have the same duty to intervene as he would when on-duty. The off-duty officer is carrying, first and foremost, to defend himself and his family in the face of retaliation. Some of us will carry bigger guns (which are easier to shoot) during the cooler months, and then switch to lighter, smaller guns during the summer months. The fact of the matter is, we need to adjust our response to an off-duty deadly force encounter to meet what we are equipped and prepared to work with.
Labels: handguns, police, Questions, shooting