- Officer’s killed by gunfire are up 30%
- Agencies throughout the country are being forced to lay-off, reducing officer ranks on the streets
- Training budgets are being slashed with all but essential training programs cancelled
Just last week the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) released it mid-year findings for 2011. Craig Floyd from the NLEOMF was quoted, “The numbers suggest that recent cuts in local law enforcement training and equipment budgets because of the economy may be contributing to the increase in deaths. When you slash those budgets time and time again, you are putting communities at risk and officers at risk.” (USA Today)
Makes sense to me; having been in enough situations to know that you will do as you have trained to do, I understand the antithesis paradigm that if you don’t train your performance may be dismal at best.
Of course another source was cited in the article stating, “...it was “too early” to conclude that budget reductions were linked to the rising deaths.” I’ll let you decide if you think slashing training budgets and time contributes to officer injuries or deaths but my LE logic certainly makes me think so.
So, how do you train when your agency has cut its budget? On your own that’s how.
I’ve long been a proponent of video training. Through the use of video I’ve had the opportunity to train under some of the finest shooting, martial arts and police suspect control instructors in the country over the last 30 years. Some of these instructors I’ve had the good fortune to train with “hands-on” but most my budget prevented the travel costs or tuition price. With agencies and officers tightening their budget belts even more tighter, video training makes more sense than ever.
In that light Panteao Productions has released a new line of DVD and streaming video available online with their Make Ready series. Panteao’s Fernando Coelho has recruited top talent in the firearms training field and recorded these instructors on high quality produced DVD’s. Names like Bill Rogers, Paul Howe, “Super” Dave Harrington are now available to teach you in the comfort of your own home. According to Fernando Coelho the idea was to make these top talents instruction available in light of the current budget crunch, “The cost of traveling to take these classes form the instructors is pretty prohibitive. Especially on a police officer’s salary. It’s my hope that these videos, while not replacing actual hands on training and trigger time, will give officer something that will help them.” That’s a great concept and is furthered by a unique offer. You can pay a $17.95 monthly subscription to view the training tapes via streaming video. That gives you access to the entire Panteao library 24 hours a day. You can pay an annual fee of $150 for streaming access for one year or you can choose to buy the DVD’s. One DVD costs $49.99, two DVD’s drops the rate to $42.49, three or more lowers the cost to $39.99.
Reviewing some of the DVD’s I’ve found excellent material and knowledge imparted by such trainers as former F.B.I. Agent turned shooting school owner instructor Bill Rogers. Rogers ability to shoot fast and accurately is amazing as is his ability to convey that knowledge to you. Former military special forces operator Paul Howe owner of CSAT (Combat Shooting and Tactics) has done two tapes with Panteao, Tac Rifle Operator and Tac Pistol Operator both training DVD’s were well produced and provided a wealth of knowledge. Dave Harrington is a name I’ve heard of for a number of years. “Super Dave” as he is known in the training circuit is a retired senior weapons instructor from the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare School at Ft. Bragg. Harrington’s 360 Degree Pistol Skill two part video series included some drills that were new for me in the quest to master the pistol with one hand alone or both hands.
My recommendations for watching and learning from video training tapes include these tips:
- First watch the video the whole way through
- Watch it again with your remote control in hand pausing and rewinding to isolate techniques
- Take notes on each technique presented. In this way you’re forced to pay closer attention and you’ll incorporate more effective learning strategies
- Go and practice the techniques as presented
- Total immersion – visual and audio input from the DVD, kinesthetic practice from the hands-on is the only way to truly learn from video training
- Compare the video with any writings the presenter has authored in the past
- Video your own practice to compare it to the tape. This is easier now than ever with smart phones and low cost digital “one touch” video cameras
- Expect no revolutionary information watch it hoping to get one snippet
- Use video to motivate and inspire. Each of these instructors would tell you that with practice you could achieve their level of skill
- Video instructors can be “mentors” of skill. Aspire and train to be as good as them
- Use DVD’s as a precursor to hands-on training with the instructor or as a refresher for courses you’ve already attended
- Don’t just watch, participate and immerse yourself
Financial times are indeed hard but the risk to you is greater now than since the 1970’s. The instructors I’ve mentioned as well as countless others are now available to you via Panteao Productions as well as from other sources.
That DVD player we all use to watch crappy rented B movies can also be the means to deliver relevant, realistic and state-of-the-art training. Video training offers up some of the best instructors in firearms and suspect control in law enforcement today. In light of the threat invest in your safety at a monthly cost less than a dinner out. Quite simply, the training is worth every penny.
About The Author:
Kevin Davis is a full-time officer assigned to the training bureau where he specializes in use of force, firearms and tactical training. With over 23 years in law enforcement, his previous experience includes patrol, corrections, narcotics and he is a former team leader and lead instructor for his agency's SWAT team with over 500 call-outs in tactical operations.