Coming in close contact to potential felony suspects is a daily part of any police officer’s job, there is no escaping it. Making contact with citizens, taking people into custody, writing traffic citations or any number of other conversational-distance events take place every day. This being the case, the chances of becoming involved in an extreme close quarter shooting are quite high. For the plainclothes officer, whose primary job is to investigate serious crimes, discover and then apprehend the perpetrator, the chance of a close-range confrontation is often multiplied. Unlike your uniform brethren, however, the plainclothes officer must draw his sidearm from beneath a concealing garment, a very difficult proposition if the officer has never been trained in the technique and then practiced to perform the task.

pc.jpgThe first point that I want to make is that an extreme close quarter confrontation may not be a “gun problem” even if deadly force is justified. Take a moment to think about the close proximity that being in “the hole” (double arm’s length) represents and ask yourself if introducing your gun into the fray will make the problem worse or better? There’s no set of right answers here, but realize the possibility of your gun becoming their gun! Please do not misunderstand. I’m not saying that extreme close quarter shooting is not a solution to the problem, I am just offering that it may not be the only solution. Hand-to-hand combat skills cannot be ignored and a slap to the face, a gouge to the eyes or a strike to the side of the neck may offer the time and distance to employ the sidearm at a safer, stand-off distance for the officer. What it will come down to is time and availability, do I have the time and available space to draw and fire my sidearm or will a lesser technique give me the time and available space to do so? Only you will be able to answer that question. Being prepared and knowing how to employ proper hand-to-hand techniques or perform a close quarter concealed draw will make that decision easier.

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Coming in close contact to potential felony suspects is a daily part of any…