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Basic Academy Firearms Qualifications

On April 24, 2007, the governing board of the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) met for their scheduled quarterly meeting. One item of discussion was recommendations for curriculum updates to the firearms block of instruction. The majority of changes recommended by CLEET staff instructors and firearms instructors from across the state were adopted without comment by Council members. However, Council members unanimously approved two changes to the proposed firearms curriculum. The changes approved by the Council addressed two issues, that of qualification courses of fire that include shooting from the fifty yard line and the practice of scanning to the rear to determine if further threats exist.

While Council members acknowledged that shooting from the fifty yard line was a valid and valuable training exercise, they eliminated the fifty yard line shooting position from the Basic Academy firearms curriculum insofar as qualification rounds are concerned. Council members reasoned that, in a basic course of instruction, qualification courses should focus on the very basic of skills and the courses fired for qualification should reflect the more realistic nature of most firearms encounters. Accordingly, CLEET Basic Academy firearms curriculum will reflect training and practice courses of training that include shooting from the fifty yard line, but, qualification courses will not include this position.

Council members also recognized the value of a curriculum that includes instruction on “rear-scanning” but they unanimously voted to include only left and right scanning within qualification courses of fire. CLEET’s Basic Academy firearms curriculum will include instruction on left, right, and rear scanning, but during qualification courses of fire, Basic Academy students will be required to demonstrate only left and right scanning. Council members' unanimous vote on this issue reflected members’ concerns that the CLEET Basic Academy firearms curriculum would be adopted by most of Oklahoma’s law enforcement agencies for their requalification standard and accordingly, many incumbents who had not received training on rear scanning would be required to perform this technique if it was included in our Basic Academy qualification courses of fire. Council members unanimously felt that the technique could present safety violations if performed by untrained individuals since the natural tendency is to move one’s hands in the same direction as the eyes move.

The revised Basic Academy firearms curriculum, to include the changes noted above, will be forwarded to authorized personnel (51O.S. ß 24A-8), to include approved academy city/entity personnel, Reserve Academy coordinators, and Collegiate Officer Program administrators, in the very near future. If, in the interim, you have questions regarding the above changes, please contact Mr. Shannon Butler, Academy Coordinator (405) 239-5126 or Assistant Director Steve Emmons (405) 239-5153.