- Associated Press - Friday, October 10, 2014

MANITOWOC, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin police officers are beginning to undergo firearms training in accordance with new state standards.

The state was lacking standards for firearms training in the past, Lt. Rob Barbier of the Manitowoc Police Department told HTR Media (https://htrne.ws/1vSeUXu ). Some departments throughout the state didn’t offer the training because it had been cut from the budget, he said. The Manitowoc Police Department, Two Rivers Police Department and Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department had held regular training sessions for officers before the change but needed to make some tweaks to meet the new standards.

The state’s law enforcement standards board recently adopted handgun qualification standards that require all officers to pass a new handgun course by June 30.

“Up until now, departments were on their own to set their own qualifications standards. The state is requiring a more standardized, more formal qualifications course,” said Lt. Gary Sheahan of the Two Rivers Police Department.

The new standards call for officers to be tested on their ability to shoot targets from various positions at intervals ranging from three to 25 yards, according to Barbier, who coordinated training for his department. The test will be timed, giving officers between 4 and 24 seconds to shoot a target, he said.

“It is a different course to shoot, a timed course, so it puts a little extra stress on the people who are shooting, which is a good thing,” said Larry Ledvina, deputy inspector at the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Office.

Officers will be tested on their ability to shoot individually and manipulate a handgun, including reloads and dealing with weapons malfunctions, according to Sheahan.

Many officers from city and county levels have already completed the state course. Most of the departments within Manitowoc County could be done with training before the beginning of winter, Barbier said.

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Information from: HTR Media, https://www.htrnews.com

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