Optics varied, but every student had a Remington 700 rifle in .308 Win., showing how effective it is for long-range missions.

There never seems to be enough time or money for more training in law enforcement. This is especially true when it comes to special response units, and the most specialized members of that unit tend to get ignored the most. Where the police sniper is involved, the thinking among some is that if you can hit a target on a square range under ideal conditions, then that is all you need. This attitude, however, is far removed from reality, as I recently learned at OpTac International’s Police Sniper Program.

The conditions during this intensive five-day course were indeed far from ideal and ranged from very cold and pouring rain to even colder and 3 to 4 inches of snow, all atop the Allegheny in western Maryland. The course, designed to instruct current and prospective law enforcement snipers on the skills required to be most effective on the job, is actually OpTac’s beginner sniper school, and the company also offers a more advanced sniper course.

During OpTac International’s Police Sniper course, LE marksmen teams learn to work together, taking turns as both spotters and shooters in freezing weather to get shots on target.

Each of the 12-hour training days combined classroom instruction and extensive field exercises with no lunch or dinner breaks, and all were led by Stuart Meyers, CEO of OpTac and former director of SWAT operations and training in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Meyers’ experience in special operations is extensive and also includes 16 years in law enforcement as a full-time SWAT team member involved with hundreds of high-risk operations in the Washington, D.C., area. He is also the author of several books on tactical operations including SWAT Fitness, A Guide To Police Sniping, and Police Sniper Administrative Policy & Training.

Shooting under stress is a key element for snipers. These teams practice getting in to position and firing with strict time limits.

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