A comment on my recent Guardian post makes me want to clear up misconceptions of the training standards for Florida’s guardian program. For reference, here is the comment:
To be fair you have skipped over mentioning an important item. The contracted security MUST have each officer qualify through the Florida Guardian Training. 144+ hours, 132hrs is range, shoot house and school simulated scenarios. Thousands of rounds fired and strict qualifications all the way out to 25 yard timed shooting. The guardians are fully capable with firearms.
- 12 hours of it is in diversity training
- 12 hours in psychological counseling
- 12 hours of negotiation and counseling skills
- only 80 hours in firearms training, and not all of that is range time.
- 12 hours in legal issues (counts as part of the firearms training)
The firearms training breaks down like this:
- 8 hours of simulator training (think shoot/no shoot training)
- 8 hours of scenario training (not range time)
- 8 hours of defensive tactics (also not range time)
- 12 hours of training in legal issues (not range time)
- 16 hours of instruction in precision pistol (not all range time, some is classroom)
By law, guardians must fire at least 90 percent, but no more than 120 percent, of the rounds fired by police candidates at the police academy. How many rounds is that? Well, it varies. The standards are set by the state, but the specifics are set by each school. The only school that I could find that listed the number of rounds fired mandates 400 rounds of pistol and 50 rounds of shotgun. So call it a total of 500 rounds fired. That would mean Guardians would need to fire from 450 to 600 rounds during this course. Certainly not “thousands of rounds fired.”
It also says that they must score an 85 percent on the qualifier. What does that entail? Well that is available online.
- At one to three yards, from the holster: Draw and fire two rounds into the target in 4 seconds. Repeat once for a total of 4 rounds.
- At three yards, from high ready: Fire 2 rounds into the target in 1 second. Repeat twice for a total of 6 rounds.
- At seven yards, from the holster: Draw and fire 2 rounds in four seconds. Then from high ready, 2 rounds in 4 seconds, then 2 more rounds in 4 seconds. Total of 6 rounds.
- At seven yards, from the holster: Draw and fire 3 rounds in five seconds. Repeat once for a total of 6 rounds.
- At 7 yards, from the holster: Draw and fire 12 rounds in 45 seconds, with a mandatory reload.
- At 15 yards, from the holster: Draw and fire 6 rounds in 30 seconds.
Scoring: Any hit on the silhouette of a B-21 target is scored as a hit. Guardians must score 34 hits out of 48 rounds in a total of 1:53 with a single mandatory reload.
If you know anything about shooting, you would know that 2.1 rounds per second with a “hit” on a target 2 times as wide and 2 times as tall as an IDPA hit zone isn’t especially hard.
Compare this to an IDPA classifier course of fire. (pdf warning) An IDPA classifier requires 4 reloads instead of the one required by guardians. It also requires that the shooter hit a smaller target, including head shots. Still, let’s compare.
If we were to shoot an IDPA qualifier at that rate of fire with an 85% hit rate, we would score somewhere around a 200. That is barely marksman territory for a shooter with a Stock Service Pistol, and that is giving them some, considering the large size of the target area that qualifies as a “hit.”
So, no. The Guardian training isn’t thousands of rounds, nor is it particularly demanding. I daresay that most of the readers of this blog could score well on that test with no additional training.