A couple years ago, Mike Conti published a book titled Police Pistolcraft. That book was a both a description of the "New Paradigm" police training that Mike and his staff had developed for the Massachusetts State Police, and a description of why it was developed and structured as it was. That book was geared not so much at the actual techniques of the system that Mike had developed (although they were covered significantly), but more at the instructor-level background on how our minds and bodies work under the kind of stress that police encounter when they need to use their firearms, and how a police-relevant system of instruction should and could be structured. He went on in that book to illustrate these points with the specific instructional technique and courses of fire that MSP had developed.
Then Trooper Conti and his "New Paradigm" training had made headlines in the professional police and firearms press mostly because of two unusual elements of the system: the inclusion of Applegate-style target-focused shooting for much of the program (as well as sight-focused precision shooting at appropriate distances) and because Mike had built his own version of Colonel Applegate's House of Horrors at the MSP firearms training facility. I attended an MSP in-service training day, shot the courses of fire and went through the House of Horrors, and to say that the training was street-relevant is a severe understatement. The run through the House of Horrors, in particular, stays with me today. Not only was the new training extremely realistic and relevant, I still remember one trooper telling me that "Mike Conti has made firearms training fun!"
(The description of how Mike built his House of Horrors is included in this early book, as well as a description of how another friend, Officer Michael Lupichini, built one for his department in his barn.)
Well, the publication of Police Pistolcraft spawned a call for a book that detailed the specific techniques of the "New Paradigm", and now-Lieutenant Conti has met that demand with the publication of the 400+-page The Officer's Guide to Police Pistolcraft. This new book goes over each element of what a police officer should know about using and fighting with his/her pistol. Starting with safety and moving onto pistol handling and manipulation, to basic skills and alternative shooting positions, to pistol retention, to mental preparation and the aftermath, to low light, to plainclothes considerations to left-hand shooter considerations to a section about the issues that female officers face in both uniformed and plain clothes assignments. There's even an appendix about revolvers, since so many new recruits today have never seen one (Mike recalls one newbie asking him if his revolver "used black powder"!)
OK - so what's different about this book from many other books on pistol use? The best way to answer that question is to quote (or paraphrase) from the introduction.
One of the primary reasons for the constant struggle (between marksmanship-orientated and combat-orientated training) has been because there had never been a system of pistol training designed exclusively for the civilian police profession. Police officers' training programs had always been derived from, or at least heavily influenced by, outside sources (such as competitive shooting, military shooting and non-police civilian shooting). As a result of all these influences, and in the absence of a needs-driven, police-specific training approach (what cops got was) based on an individual trainer's beliefs. Of even greater importance than the techniques used to aim and fire the pistol are the techniques used to prepare the officer to operate effectively in the element of danger, and to assist in the development of sound judgment and decision-making skills. This focus on mental preparation as opposed to pistol aiming technique is absolutely critical, for being trained to respond and act appropriately when operating with a pistol in your hand is the hard part of the equation. The development of the actual physical skills required to aim and fire the pistol accurately and effectively is much easier to achieve.