Training through USPSA/ISPC events provides officers an opportunity to emulate situations that might be encountered on the street.
Years ago, relatively early on in my career as a law enforcement officer and trainer, I overheard an officer from a nearby agency telling the clerk at an indoor range that the annual qualification he was required to shoot in order to maintain his law enforcement certification was, “too easy and boring.” I was initially surprised to hear this and decided to strike up a conversation with the officer, who told me that his agency simply required their officers to stand still, shoot at a static target and get a certain minimum required score twice a year.
When I made mention that his skill with that handgun could mean the difference between life and death I could tell by the look on his face that he really didn’t understand just how much he was lacking when it came to shooting and properly handling his issued handgun. I had been on the range with this officer several times in the past and knew that he had a lot to learn about shooting. Instead of possibly alienating the officer by bluntly pointing this out, I decided to approach the issue with him from a different direction; I asked him to go to a shooting match with me the following weekend.
He agreed to go with me to a local USPSA/IPSC pistol match, and that weekend his eyes were opened, not only to what people in other walks of life were able to achieve with a commonly available handgun but to his respective shooting deficiencies. This officer went on to become an avid shooter/competitor, and the USPSA/IPSC organization gained another sound member.
USPSA stands for United States Practical Shooting Association and it is the US affiliate of IPSC, which is the International Practical Shooting Confederation. In my opinion, USPSA is the most dynamic, exciting practical shooting sport in existence today, and if you haven’t been to a USPSA match as of yet you are surely missing out on a lot of fun. Additionally, if you are in law enforcement, security or the military, you are missing out on a lot of great training at a nominal expense.
Contrary to what some people think and even proliferate, USPSA is not an “equipment race,” as many believed a few years ago. In the spirit of “something for everyone,” USPSA now has five distinct divisions in which a competitor can enter; including Revolver, Limited 10, Limited, Production, Open, and now Single Stack.