Firearms Training
Request submitted by Jane Sachs (Maryland)

I am seeking your input on the following questions. If you could take a minute to share information with me, I would greatly appreciate it.

1. Who do you qualify with firearms? i.e., all new staff, some new staff, etc.
2. When do they go to the range for entry level firearms?
3. What is your success rate? 
4. What, if anything, happens if they fail to qualify?

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Response from Louise Layton (DE)… 
1. Who do you qualify with firearms? i.e., all new staff, some new staff, etc. ALL Security staff..CO’s and PO’s  mandatory 40 hr during basic training
2. When do they go to the range for entry level firearms? During basic training
3. What is your success rate? 95-97%
4. What, if anything, happens if they fail to qualify? During basic, they are terminated from training…if they fail at requalification’s certification is pulled and they can’t work post requiring them to carry a firearm.

Response from Jeffrey Mortham (FL)…
Good Afternoon—
1.    All certified Correctional and Correctional Probation Officers.
2.    During their Basic Recruit Academy
3.    Typically 85-90% during the initial 80 hour course
4.    If they fail during their initial course, they are afforded the opportunity to retake the class one more time. If the student fails again they are exited from the program.

Response from Terence Davis (TN)…
Here are the information on Tennessee Dept of Correction:
1.     Who do you qualify with firearms? i.e., all new staff, some new staff, etc.
a.      All new correctional officers and probation and parole officers.  Select executive staff.
2.    When do they go to the range for entry level firearms?
a.      Executive staff in their first 6 months
b.      Correctional officers in week 4 of 6 in BCOT
c.       Probation and parole officers week 2 of 6 (changing from week 4)
3.    What is your success rate?
a.      We have roughly 95% pass rate
4.    What, if anything, happens if they fail to qualify?
a.      Correctional officers have a period of time in first six months to do remedial work.
b.      Probation and parole officers if they do not qualify are subject to dismissal.
c.       Each has to do annual requalification and use of force simulator training.

Response from Michael Hire (OH)…
1. Who do you qualify with firearms? i.e., all new staff, some new staff, etc.
Initial firearms training is at our Academy, all new Corrections Officers go through it.
After they are sent to their individual institutions the Custody Staff ( C/O's,Sgt's,Lt's,Cpt's and Major) re-certify annually.
2. When do they go to the range for entry level firearms?
During their last week of the Academy, 2 days with Glock pistol and 1 day with 870 Shotgun.
3. What is your success rate? 
We average about a 97% passing rate for firearms certification at the Academy. (Most of our failures mainly are due to safety violations)
4. What, if anything, happens if they fail to qualify?
They are sent back to their institutions for remedial training with the firearm(s), then sent back to the academy to complete those days over again with the next academy class available.

Response from Jim Wiseman (MO)… 
1. Who do you qualify with firearms? i.e., all new staff, some new staff, etc. Only Corrections Officers, and they only qualify on the shotgun
2. When do they go to the range for entry level firearms? The last week of Basic Training.
3. What is your success rate? 99%
4. What, if anything, happens if they fail to qualify? This is part of their essential functions to perform duties as a Corrections Officer. If they fail to qualify they are dismissed from the agency.

Response from Gerald Melanson (OH)…
In ODRC, all custody staff are required to qualify with firearms.  The initial qualification is completed at the Corrections Training Academy during theNew Employee Orientation (NEO) upon hiring.At the Institutions, all custody employees are required to re-qualify annually (not to exceed 12 months).  This training is governed under a lesson plandeveloped by the academy.  There are several phases of fire for this qualification to include weapons retention and proper loading and unloading eachWeapon.  If a student fails any portion, they are forwarded an opportunity to qualify in each section failed on that same day of training. If they still do notPass, they are rescheduled on a later date for a coaching session on the phases not passed and given one more opportunity to qualify.  If the student still does not qualify, the academy is notified and that student may attend the firearms course again at the academy.I do not know what the success rate is at the academy but Trumbull Correctional Institution has a 100% success rate.All Firearms Instructors are required to qualify each year as well and this is scheduled a day prior to all other staff going to the range.  Each instructor is also requiredto re-qualify as an instructor every three years.


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