Sometimes You Have to Take Training into Your Own Hands

Like many of you, I spend a good deal of time online checking my social media news feeds. Most of the time I browse, laugh and maybe leave a quick comment, but every once in a while I find a topic or thread that makes me stop and think. This is what happened this past week end when I was reading a Facebook post concerning law enforcement training. Let me explain why the responses caused me to pause – and then be concerned.

The thread in question started simple enough – someone asking, “How many times per year do your departments qualify?” A pretty typical question in many of the LE Only pages. But it was the responses that got my attention.

At first the responses were on topic, with members leaving simple messages such as “2”, “3” etc. But then, others started explaining how their departments qualify as little as possible and rarely do any training, just punch holes and calculate scores before the next group of shooters take the line. Of course, this led to the back and forth on how important training vs. qualification is. Others chimed in that, “If your department doesn’t providing training, tell your family to sue if anything happens to you.”

Lawsuits after the fact might change things for the next generation, but they will not protect you or allow you to go home at the end of the shift. There are only two things that can accomplish that – luck or training. I prefer not to rely on luck, you never know when it will come your way and when it does come, it could be good or bad. That means training is the only option, and if your department will not provide it, then it is up to you to get it on your own. It’s time to take personal responsibility.

I am lucky enough to work for an agency and current boss who is more than willing to back my attempts to get outside training whenever possible. That’s not to say he gives the green light to every course, but yes is far more common than no. It sucks if you work for someone who will not or cannot be like that, but you can’t let shortsightedness or a small budget put you in danger.

There are plenty of training opportunities available, many at no or low cost – you just need to put in the time and effort to find them. National organizations, such as the FOP or other professional development group, frequently offer low cost training in a variety of topics for their members. State and Federal agencies often host training for their own officers and are willing to provide extra space to local officers when available – if you network with your brothers and sisters, they might be able to tip you off. The list goes on and on. There are a host of sources and courses available, you just need to seek them out.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Tom Burrell

Tom enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserves in 1987. Following service in Desert Storm, he transitioned to active duty with the US Coast Guard. In 1997 he left the USCG to pursue a position in conservation & maritime law enforcement. Tom is currently a Captain and he oversees several programs, including his agency investigation unit. He is also a training instructor in several areas including firearms, defensive tactics and first aid/CPR. In 2006 Tom received his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Harrisburg Area Community College and in 2010 a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University.
Tom Burrell

1 thought on “Sometimes You Have to Take Training into Your Own Hands

  1. Train like you fight, fight like you train! Don’t make it personal, keep it business. Cause business is good.

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