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American Handgunner Jan/Feb 2012 Digital Edition - Page 22
COPTALK oPINIoN AND FActs FroM tHe MeAN streets Lessons From F ILeeTA or the last several years ILEETA, the International Law Enforcement Educators’ and Trainers’ Association, has been a blue-chip provider of cutting edge training for police instructors. The 2011 conclave was no different. More than a decade ago, after the Columbine atrocity, American law enforcement realized it needed to respond to mass murder situations with a faster strategy than the containment tactics of the past. Top trainers, such as Police Chief Jeff Chudwin, emphasize we could expect to face Mumbai-type situations in this country, and the model for Mumbai may well have been the Howard Johnson’s sniper incident decades ago in New Orleans. Colonel Bob Lindsay, now retired, was one of the cops who stormed onto the roof of that hotel to end the incident, and was there at ILEETA to contribute his wisdom. We’ve progressed today to faster gathering, often ad hoc groups of cops deploying to seek and neutralize a mass murderer who may be killing innocent victims at a rate of two victims per minute (Columbine) or even eight victims per minute (Dunblane). hose time/murder ratios come from ILEETA presenter Ron Borsch, of the Southeast Area Law Enforcement Academy in Bedford, Ohio. Ron’s study of these massacres shows that 68 percent were stopped by civilians and 32 percent by the police. Moreover, fully 82 percent of the private citizens who stopped Above: ileeTA presenter Jeff Chudwin endorsed massacres did it single-handed. the importance of “always armed, always ready.” Among police who terminated below: mas finally won the ileeTA Cup match! Jimmy such incidents, 73 percent were mcCoy of meggitt (left) and Jimmy smith of ileeTA acting alone. The importance of (center) present the ileeTA Cup to mas (right). being prepared at all times was stressed by each of the many master instructors who touched on this and related topics. Of the mass murder incidents Borsch’s research uncovered that were terminated by citizens, only 28 percent were stopped by armed citizens, simply because most ordinary people don’t carry guns. Plainclothes and off-duty officers can’t afford to become lackadaisical about carrying their guns and spare ammunition. In the Killeen, Texas cafeteria massacre, the first three officers who showed up and engaged the murderer were two plainclothes investigators and an off duty cop. The off-duty Utah cop who stopped a mass shooting in the Trolley Square Mall incident was armed only with a sub-compact .45 auto and no spare ammo, a choice he had cause to soon regret as his ammo depleted. That officer had to fire across a significant distance with his short/barrel pistol to pin down the gunman. In a North Carolina incident, the first responder turned out to be the only responder who got there in time to stop the murders. Using his Glock .40, the cop neutralized the killer, despite having been wounded by shotgun pellets from his antagonist. Borsch says the officer managed that from a distance of 114'. % % Play The Percentages MAssAD AyooB % T Distance anD training O fficer survival authority, Brian McKenna, noted in the Panel of Experts on Deadly Force discussion cops are still getting killed, for the most part, by people within 10' of them. Another panelist was Dorcia Meador, several times the top woman at the national police shooting championships sponsored by the NRA. Retired not long ago after many years as rangemaster for the Fort Worth, Texas Police Department, she related her agency’s emphasis on use of the sights and trigger control has resulted in a hit potential on the street reaching the mid-18th percentile. She mentioned in her department’s eight to a dozen shooting incidents a year, distance averages some 15 yards. Her comment and Brian’s do not contradict each other: cops tend to get killed in close, but tend to dominate gunfights occurring at greater distances. One Ft. Worth officer used his front sight and trigger control skills to drop two gunmen at 25 yards. He was firing 1-handed in the dark, Meador explained, manipulating his flashlight with his free hand. And the heroic officers who ended mass shootings in Utah and North Carolina both had to make long shots with their pistols. In the live fire outdoor range work, Bob Stasch gave an outstanding class on reactive pistol shooting. The survivor of more than a dozen shootouts, Bob makes the point that with pistol bullets, brain shots stop lethal action faster than anything else — another reason for accurate shot placement. Fortunately, the widespread adoption of the patrol rifle has greatly improved the ability of the rank and file street cops to respond to incidents requiring precision accuracy. Accuracy and speed alike were tested at the ILEETA Cup shooting match, sponsored by Meggitt Training Systems. After several years of competing in the darn thing, I finally won it. Which reminds us all that luck is a factor in these things, too. In a year of devastating budget cuts and layoffs, the conference drew an attendance of 725 police trainers, a huge percentage of whom paid partly or wholly out of their own pockets to attend. For information on joining ILEETA and attending next year’s conference, go to www.ileeta.org. * 22 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • JANUARY/FEBRUARY2012