NJCOPS SHOOTING FROM THE HIP AUGUST 2013 We all know that police officer shootings historically occur very, very quick and very, very close. Yet, during firearms qualifications we shoot only a couple rounds in close. If we “train as we fight” then we must spend a lot more time Hip Retention Shooting. The Hip Retention Position is meant to be used when a suspect is basically at an arm’s length away, but officers can use this position from as far away as three (3) yards. In a gun fight milla-seconds count and the Hip Retention Position can save a police officer’s life. The Hip Retention Position should not be discounted when instructing in Firearms Training. This position should go hand in hand with any type of self defense training because this position is just an extension of any good self defense plan. When shooting from the Hip Retention Position we have to realize a couple of thing; that we are in very serious trouble, we did not recognize the initial danger signs and we let the subject get too close to us and now it is a fight for your life! Here are a few tips to think about while practicing the Hip Retention Position… When shooting from this position first and foremost we must be in a good self defense stance. Our strong leg should be slightly back, our feet are positioned about shoulder width apart, are knees our slightly bent and we should be on the balls of our feet. We should have our support hand up so we can defend ourselves and strike if we need to. Once we are justified to shoot and we are in fear for our lives then our strong hand moves to the weapon. When we go for the weapon we grip it with our “final” grip and we also release any hoods and / or locking mechanisms. When the weapon is ready to come out of the holster we raise just far enough to clear the holster or “break leather”. When the weapon is clear of the holster we rotate our strong hand so the palm of our strong hand is facing up toward the ceiling or the sky. By rotating our strong hand we allow the weapon to fire without the slide getting hung up on anything such as a jacket or loose clothing. Now the finger slides into the trigger guard and you can fire. There are a couple of common mistakes that are always observed from this position; 1) officers tend to lean back while shooting from this position. This makes for a terrible position for self defense. And 2) officers extend their weapon out which can lead to the suspect being able to reach and grab your weapon. As always Stay Safe.