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Florida Guardian Program

Guardian Standards & Training

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.

The training breaks down like this:

  • 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.

9 replies on “Guardian Standards & Training”

It’s not as if I’m at the range every weekend, but when I do go, the number of rounds expended used to exceed the Guardians’. I say used to because I’ve trimmed my ammo expenditures significantly, and because it is a 45 minute drive each way, mostly at freeway speed, my frequency of range time has also been trimmed due to gas cost. In any case, however, color me unimpressed with the Guardians’ firearms training requirements — decent, but nothing to write home about.

really not impressed. I’m 70 years old and shoot to keep skills up. just shot a new qualifier for shits and giggles. from the holster at 7 yds- 5 inch circle.
draw- 5 shots to slide lock back. mag change-5 more shots on target. all hits must be in 5 inch center mass circle(10 rounds). qualify time 5 seconds or less. basic qual. for these new guardian ninjas of protection.

That’s not a lot of rounds to familiarize people who may have never handled a firearm before. It’s better than the Army does for pistol training, but that isn’t saying much.

When I was in practice in the Army (your tax dollars at work, thanks!), I could draw and put 45 rounds in the silhouette in 30 seconds from 25 meters. That includes two magazine changes. And about 30 of the hits would be in the 5 zone. (I never claimed to be all that accurate with a pistol. Rifle, yes. Pistol, not so much.)

BLUF: it’s a start. We’re going from libs crying about weapons in school to a program that makes it happen, with some regimented albeit not-so-rigorous training. Lets hope that people who are applying to be guardians aren’t noobs to the firearm world. From the pdf link above:
“Guardians
• A school district or charter school employee or
personnel, including teachers, who volunteers to
serve as a school Guardian in addition to his or her
official job duties.
• An employee of a school district or a charter school
who is hired for the specific purpose of serving as a
school Guardian.”

The first bullet point is what would concern me about noobs volunteering – teachers who want to “give it a try”. And there could be some teachers who have some proficiency or show a knack for it, that’s fine. The second category makes more sense – these could be retired military or police who want to become guardians. They would (or should) have the skills to be effective should the need arise.

Part of the issue would be wages. Being employed specifically as a guardian, you can’t expect someone to do this for $20k.

It’s stunning…the Lack of SOLID Training these folks do or get.
Wow.

12 hrs of diversity………
Wtf? ….

Hey, when dealing with a “diverse” situation, proper training in fine distinctions is important. For instance, it’s important to be able to properly identify and distinguish .38 Special, .380ACP, 9mm, .38 Super, etc. Similarly, mistaking a 12-gauge shell for a 20-…

Oh. Nevermind.

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