NJCOPS ARTICLE FOR DECEMBER 2013 One of the most familiar and menacing sounds in the world is the racking of a pump action shotgun. Yet we see shotguns less and less as part of the frontline officer’s equipment and definitely less within the SWAT / SERT world. Shotguns have given way to a rifle / carbine platform. Whether it is a Colt, Sig Sauer, Bushmaster, DPMS or any other brand name the carbine platform has become more and more common place for the frontline patrol officer. The incident that became a turning point and forced this move over to carbines was the Hollywood Bank Robbery Shooting in the late 1990’s. Police Departments realized that being out gunned on the street was NOT an option. Unfortunately, just like everything else in police world the move have been very, very slow. One thing that was very apparent with last month’s Mall Shooting was a lot of police departments have made the move to carbines instead of shotguns. For the frontline officer this is a good thing! You can now take that longer shot and you are able to bring more firepower to the bad guy. Ok, so now that rifles are on the street how do we train with them and insure that your department has a good policy? First thing is first, if you have rifles in your department make sure they are on the street! Rifles do you NO good in the armory, under lock and key. I have spoken with several bosses / Chiefs and when they tell me that rifles in the armory I tell them, “It is time to RETIRE!” In New Jersey use must qualify four (4) times a year with a rifle and two (2) of the qualifications must be at a 100 yard range with a “Q” Target or a 50 yard range with a Reduced “Q” Target. Any good rifle training should include some movement and stress / combat course. Last month’s Mall Shooting showed us that movement with rifles under stress is something that needs to be practiced. Rifle Training is like any other type of training that we do…the more we train the better we get and more proficient we become. Telling someone to hit a target 100 yards away at first can seem like a daunting task, but as you train more with a carbine platform the more you realize that the advantages of having this weapon in your arsenal. Some advantages are not being out gunned by the bad guy, being able to make that longer shot with more precision, police officers being able to defeat the bad guy’s body armor and let’s not forget about all those accessories! Just remember all the advantages of a carbine platform are taken away when they are locked away inside your station or armory. Get them on the street not only for your officer’s safety but for your safety against vicarious liability.