Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Stay In Your Lane, Joe.

Look, I'm not saying that there's not room for improvement in police training in the vast majority of departments in this country. In fact, part of the problem when talking about "policing in this country" is that, because of our federal system, you're talking about something like eighteen thousand individual federal, state, and local agencies.

These agencies come in all manner of sizes and have all manner of budgets. At one end of the scale you have the NYPD, with 50,000 employees, of which 35,000 are sworn officers. (For comparison, the Cuban armed forces have about 49,000 active duty personnel.) On the other end of the scale is the typical small town department that usually has ten or fewer officers. In fact, those tiny agencies are statistically the most numerous ones in the US*.

You think the Two Mules, Kansas PD, which has a chief and two full time officers plus two volunteer reserves, has a lot of money to keep everybody trained on the latest and greatest policing technologies and best practices?

Marksmanship training is but one tiny part of all this, and if you know anyone who handles firearms training for a typical municipal or county agency, they can tell you what a chore it is to keep some certain percentage of their officers motivated to pass the (often downright remedial) recurring agency qualification.

Now the other day we have the President of the United States weighing in on police marksmanship in a speech:
"We have to retrain cops as to why shouldn't you always shoot with deadly force. The fact is, if you need to use your weapon, you don't have to do that," Biden said.
Look, Joe, I realize that law school was a long time ago; I was still in diapers when you were admitted to the bar. But you should probably remember that firing a gun at somebody is inherently deadly force. You can't shoot somebody just a little bit.

You might remember a couple years back when some cops in the Philippines broke up an illegal cockfight, one officer got kicked in the leg by one of the combatants and bled out on the spot. If you can get killed by getting kicked in the leg by a chicken, what makes you think it's okay to shoot someone there?