Yale Police Protest Over Firearms Test
More than 70 police officers at Yale University are protesting a new policy that allows them to be fired if they don’t pass a firearms test in 30 working days after having failed it twice.
How difficult is this test, really? The article doesn’t mention, but it’s almost certainly the rudimentary levels found throughout law enforcement. In one formal study, it was found there is a tiny 13% difference in skill between complete novices that had never fired a handgun and academy-trained police officers. Academy-trained police officers are still novices, and these police officers at Yale University are protesting being held accountable for this 13% improvement because they can’t do it, or the academy that graduated them couldn’t teach them to do so, or both.
“Training” at this level is just an introduction to concepts. Passing such a qualification is merely routine hygiene that introductory concepts have been retained at a level 13% above complete novices, not training.
Note for all instructors: This is why maintaining reasonable but challenging standards coupled with semi-regular competition is important. It prevents underskilled “instructors” from working with recruits by revealing with numbers how unskilled they actually are. It puts a performance goal that indicates when low performance is happening and identifies those that are doing better and best. Encouraging and hosting competitive events creates a culture that reinforces skill development for recognizing and rewarding those that do well, which identifies potential candidates to help teach the others.
These police officers at Yale University are protesting for the “right” to remain underskilled and to never find better qualified firearms instruction at their academy.