First - Please define what someone who is a “good shot” is. I bet my definition is a lot different than yours. What metric are you using to determine if a cop is a good shot or a lousy shot?
Second - What data are you using to formulate this opinion that cops are all lousy shots? What data are you parsing that shows “cops can not shoot minute of man at 7yards”?
Third - In your opinion, what process would adequately test a shooters proficiency? What should a cop (or anyone) be capable of with a firearm to satisfy your criticism? What’s your suggestion?
The idea that all cops can’t shoot is frankly ridiculous.
All NJ Police Officers are required by law to do the following regarding the carrying of firearms:
• Train to realistic standards. ie: shoot on the move, use cover, shoot at moving targets, shoot in low light, participate in shoot/no-shoot or Force on Force situations
• Pass a qualification consisting of a Day Time (full lighting conditions)and Low-light course of fire as prescribed by the NJ AG via the NJDCJ. They must pass this course of fire 2x a year with a minimum score of 80%. This qual course consists of 90-100 rounds (depending on if the agency uses HQC1 or HQC2) on an FBI Q target at ranges from 1 yard, out to 25 yards.
• Police have to qualify on any weapon they plan on carrying on and off duty. There are separate day time and low-light qualification courses for other classes of firearms as well - such as shotguns, sub-guns, carbines, PDWs, and scoped rifles. Any agency can put further restriction in place (higher minimum passing score, restriction on gun type or caliber, etc…) or require more training if they wish.
At the end of the qualification, if you don’t pass the qual, you are relieved of your firearm, placed in administrative status, given a time to train/practice, than an opportunity to qualify again. A failure then means termination. If you can’t shoot an 80% on the course, you can’t stay.
Based on my observations at public ranges and teaching both civilians and cops to shoot For the last 18 years, I’ll bet that the average NJ cop can outshoot the average NJ gun owner on a HQC and HNQC test. In fact, I’ll bet that 75% of gun owners could not pass the entire police qualification course - the one that every working cop has to pass twice a year in addition to any training they participate in. I’ll bet another 10% of NJ gun owners will score in the 80% range, another 10% in the 90% range, and another 5% could clean the course and I bet the final 5% consists of shooters that can outshoot most cops by a fair margin by every measurable standard.
The notion that “The cops who only shoot once or twice a year to pass that qualification are terrible shots.” is unsubstantiated unqualified nonsense. If they have to pass a qual 2x a year that the majority of non-cop shooters could not pass, just how “terrible” are they? Just because they don’t know what color the boathouse is at Hereford, does not mean they don’t have the skills to accomplish their jobs.
No, not all cops are shooters. Not all Cops are even gun people. But they all meet a minimum standard of 80% 2x a year.
Cops have to wear so many hats and be mandatorily trained on so many topics now-a-days that there isn’t enough time or money to make them all into DeltaRangerSEALsnipers or steely eyed killers.
On the other hand - some cops shoot at the GM level in competition circuits. Some were/are members of SOF or SMU organizations. Some are attached to LE Agencies/Units/teams that require a higher standard than 80% 2x a year. Some shoot as a hobby and enjoy training with firearms, often spending thousands of dollars chasing high-end instruction form some of the best instructors on the planet. Some are in agencies that promote martial abilities, but some are not. It’s not as cut and dry as “all cops suck at shooting”.
Part of what @GRIZ was talking about when he said “Shooting isn’t fighting” (outside of the mindset and tactics portion that makes up 90% of any gunfight) is an important distinction. Shooting a qual course and getting 100% does not guarantee you are a gunfighter, or will win a gunfight, or even hit your target in a deadly force situation.
No one knows what will happen in the transition between shooting paper with your colleagues and friends under impossibly blue skies filled with cotton ball clouds, next to rivers of chocolate and trees that give beer, and when you are alone and fighting for your life with a very real possibility that you will die. This is not Cop specific and is a universal truth across the board including military, cops, competition shooters, bad guys, and armed citizens.
Until you see the proverbial elephant, you don’t know how you will react to that level of personal danger.
There is no test, no qual, no training that can predict that.