I regularly compete with three policemen that are excellent shots. Three out of about 300 in our county (including city, county, and state and federal personnel).
On occasion I see other police shooting, most recently at an all police match. And it wasn’t pretty. They were better than the public, but not as good as they need to be considering they tote a gun every day.
A couple of days ago police in San Francisco opened up on a person with a weapon, missing him and shooting two by-standers.
Now, I’m sure San Francisco gives their officers minimal training in accurate shooting and gunfight decision making. And I’m sure they don’t hire with marksmanship as an important, or even considered, criteria (race and sex probably being foremost concerns). And it is also true that most police officers never fire their gun in the line of duty.
But they carry a pistol every day. Some departments even require they carry off duty. And should they need to use it, they need to be able to use it effectively and safely for those walking about innocently.
If you are a police officer and you aren’t happy with the training you’ve gotten from your department, it is incumbent on YOU to improve yourself. It may cost some money, but hey, maybe your weapons sergeant can kick you some ammo. And you should train and compete. USPSA, IDPA, PPC, whatever. Get your heart rate up, and try to shoot and make decisions under pressure. Someday your family, or an innocent by-stander might thank you.
Update: There have been 29 ‘unplanned’ shootings since 2005 at the SFPD.