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On Your Own Dime

Filling In The Training Gap

Ask any group of LE trainers if their officers get enough training. I don’t think you’ll hear one “yes” in 100. Ask them what the three biggest barriers are to better training, and the first two will be budget and staffing. Those barriers are just facts of life, over which you have little control. But the third barrier is one that brings twisted grimaces to all trainers. That’s when a training opportunity presents itself, but it has to be done on officers’ personal time, and it’s not reimbursable. The persistent whine is, “If the department won’t pay for it, why should I do it?”

The answer is simple. Agency provided, fully subsidized training can only establish and maintain a foundational level of skills and knowledge. You can think of it as being on life support with an occasional shot of Red Bull in your IV. Not a very appealing image, is it? Certainly, that’s not how you want to view your professional development. And in self-initiated training as in so many other areas, you can lead by example, expanding your skills and knowledge on your own dime, and talking it up with your troops.

“Learning” doesn’t have to mean pursuing a Master’s, committing to time you don’t have and costs you can’t afford, and should never be boring. Here are some suggestions for pushing your personal envelope.


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  1. I subscribe to the magazine and enjoy it. Question-in John Morrison’s article he list many weapon training ranges. Have you heard about Front Sight near Las Vegas, NV. and what do you think about it? Thanks.

    • Mario,
      I don’t have any personal experience with Front Sight — I can only attest to receiving great training at Gunsite and Thunder Ranch. Having said that, before you (or anybody) consider a school, I’d suggest a simple Google search to see what other people have to say about the school. It’s also a good way to see what information the school provides to prospective students.

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