A day before the NYPD buried Detective Mulkeen, another police widow called out the inadequate training from the world’s largest police force.
NYC’s clueless mayor responded with a boilerplate response: she’s allowed to be hurt but she’s wrong.
The words echoed through my head all night like I was being haunted. Back in February of this year, Detective Brian Simonsen was gunned down during a robbery call by friendly fire. Earlier this week after Det. Mulkeen was killed by friendly fire in the same type of scenario, Leanne Simonsen spoke up.
What I’m about to say will probably make me a bit unpopular… but it’s the truth.
They say the truth hurts. For some, this is going to hurt real bad… but it doesn’t change the facts. The training culture of the NYPD sucks and we all know it. You only get what you put in and there are far too many who just don’t want to put anything into their training, into their own survival.
I entered into the NYPD at a time when we had something called IN-TAC training. It was a program instituted to provide in-service tactical training to officers. Officers trained with their partners to learn tactics, learn how each other works and most importantly, learn how to work together in dangerous situations.
This training went to all officers, from beat cops to bike cops, sector cars to plainclothes units. The program worked, gave important tips, tricks and insight that saved lives. Like most good programs, it slowly went away and was replaced with the programs of pointless nonsense.
The department has a long history of shabby training. Look no further than the trial of PO Peter Liang.
Liang was on trial for the shooting death of an unarmed male after he had an accidental discharge of his weapon. While there were errors in this case that one could only place solely on the officer, the defense attorney, retired from the job, proved that the totality of the errors he made could largely be attributed to the NYPD.
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When asked why the officer never offered aid to the victim, he replied that he had never been trained. As is common in the department, CPR and first-aid books are distributed to recruits with the message that, ” you’re trained, now read the book”.
The firing range has always been another area riddled with error. Throughout my entire career I watched thousands of officers simply call favor or barter their way out of the range, sidestepping the bi-annual qualifications. I have seen cops fail miserably while testing, score in the 20’s and being allowed to advance due to who they know or what office they work in.
Even worse, I’ve stood at the outdoor range in terrible weather, being told to stand under the awning (25-yard line) and empty all magazines downrange. As you can imagine, the range instructors had no intention of walking into a monsoon; everyone passed. I’ve stood in line waiting to sign in while a select few just fired and left. In at 8 a.m. out at 9, while no one else even hits their range until 10.
In the academy, we had a short heavyset girl that failed the run. As a matter of fact, she dropped out of every single run we ever went on. She’d run two or three times around the track and then would drop into the middle and cry. This recruit was a holdover from the class prior and had been held back for not being able to complete the run, a mandatory task for all to accomplish. Come graduation day, as we filed into Madison Square Garden, she was there, with fellow recruits looking at her as though she was just there to fill a quota.
While not all the instructors from the department’s multitude of disciplines gave such half-hearted attention to their instruction, the department itself, knowingly or not, created the environment.
The reality is that the NYPD should be audited for its certification. It should face the gauntlet and change as necessary to ensure that the absolute best is offered to its recruit and in-service training.
It is the absolute minimum owed to the members of the service, the people they serve, and those on both sides who have lost their lives, in part, do to the ineffective training.
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