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IPSC training for police members.


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Here is the situation. IPSC shooting has been a part of our national police service sporting codes for many years. Although we do not have a large amount of competitors, there is a core group of dedicated and very talented shooters amongst them.Most of our firearms training curriculum has been developed from the basic IPSC principles and even use similar range commands.

Due to budgetry cuts and ignorance, the Head Shed wants to remove the dicipline from the official sporting list. I have the basic facts needeed to convince them that participating in IPSC type competition and having an IPSC shooting team is not only necessary, but an important part of training for all members of the service. Due to the large number of knowledgable members on this site I thought that this would be a good place to ask for help.

I do need some information about other/similar organisations from around the world that have an IPSC/IDPA team and encourages their members to participate in these types of matches, as well as some pointers as to why the teams exist/are encouraged. Any info on studies done about the subject would also be appreciated. Please feel free to PM me if you do not feel comfortable posting the info here. I will also supply credentials if so required.

Thank you very much in advance.

Warrant Officer Albert Wessels - South African Police Service.

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As a competitive shooter, and one who has limited work in "law enforcement" of sorts, I can honestly say that what most officers need is more training in writing.

There's zero doubt in my mind that IPSC shooting can provide extensive assistance with firearms and encourage confidence with them, but the skills required to be a good police officer place firearms training way down on the list of important items.

It's not glamorous or seem great, but the most important things police officers ever do is observe things and write them down so that we can lock up the bad guys. I know because I was part of the process and personally assisted in locking up quite a few myself.

I can really see both sides of this debate, but at the end of the day, shooting is just such a small amount of what cops do, that I could understand why a department might want to cut IPSC in favor of some other training.

I won't, however, claim to know anything about law enforcement in South Africa.

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Thanks for the input, i agree whole heartedly concerning the writing skills. It is however is not the issue here.

IPSC, and all other dedicated firearms sports for that matter, is seen as not being necessary or beneficial to the basic line function duties of our officers. Sports such as soccer and netball, which in my opinion add nothing other than an increase in fitness, are however promoted and actively supported by those in command.

Edited by 1911aow
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Albert, hi. I am an ex-SAP member (exams completed and held the rank of Warrant Officer), and now residing in Canada. Inasmuch as policemen may need writing skills, in South Africa they definitely need shooting skills. I recall way back in 1984 there was no IPSC culture in the SAP. It was just beginning to surface in small pockets, particularly in Pretoria.

I agree with you, the rank and file should be exposed to IPSC type shooting, especially when you consider how many SA Policemen are killed each year. We have a few tactical members that shoot IPSC, but for the most part policemen don't partake, for whatever reason. I think you are going to find it hard to justify on the basis of a sport. The powers that be see it as elitist, and given that ammunition is paid by the taxpayer, I doubt they are going to fund you. You probably have a better chance using IPSC as a training platform. My approach would be to show them how poorly the average policeman's marksmanship is relative to a regular IPSC competitor. But I also know the politics involved, and know it isn't going to be an easy sell.

Good luck.

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If you go to www.policeone.com (caliberpress) there is some articles backing competition shooting related to police work on and off duty. Of course the higher ups are concerned about budget but you may be able to find an article/s on this web sight to assist you in getting enough backing. I think your main objective is getting the officers more involved and committed. Just my 2 cents worth.

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Police One also has an articles penned by Ron Avery as to the applications of competitive shooting to police training. Here is one but all of Ron's stuff is directed at improving LE performance.

The Role of Competition in Police Training

Given that ideally we want to create firearms training that offers a level of stress inoculation. Outside of elaborately written and acted sims scenarios it is very difficult to create a hormonal response while doing firearms training. We try to induce it with physical exercise but that rarely triggers the hormonal response we are looking for. However, standing in front of a group of friends and or peers when the timer goes off rarely does not induce a hormonal response and therefore offers many great opportunities for training.

Edited by smokshwn
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In my humble opinion and as having been an Int'l. & Fed. LEO/ Instructor, I believe it'll be damned difficult

to convince the powers that be that what is regularly (and rightly so) called an action sport will be well received

under the pretense or "Training.." (I DO completely agree it would be a good tool to use for your officers, but it is a sport..)

I did quite a fair amount of instructing/ training w/ for the SAP off and on in the early '90's and found the "Powers that Be.." back

then to be rather un-flinching when it came to idea's of anything new, training wise.. Not ALWAYS mind you, but quite often..

It could possibly be easier to try to propose the S.A. version of our IDPA (Int'l. Defensive Pistol Assoc.); Yours: www.sadpa.co.za/

to the Upper Crust as it is really intended and really DOES improve defensive thinking & thus training by virtue of it's original intent..

Good luck and DO stay safe Brother..! And... "Merry Christmas" to you and yours..!!


Edited by gunfixer
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