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Ballistic Shield Training

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 53 Issue: 11 Dated: November 2005 Pages: 64-68
Rich Bahret
Date Published
November 2005
5 pages
This article describes the police ballistic shield training program of the Pinellas County, FL Sheriff’s Office.
The Pinellas County, FL Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) developed and implemented a ballistic shield training program, a basic user level training, for deputies who may have never held a shield before. The shield training is done on the firearms day of the 40-hour in-service week. Half the class conducts dry malfunction drills and weapons breakdown/maintenance training while the other half is doing shield drills. The training session begins in the classroom. Deputies are shown the proper way to hold the shield with tips on issues, such as proper stance and sight picture. The deputies are also trained in malfunction drills with shields. Once the classroom work is complete, deputies move to the range. Students begin or start out with static shooting at a target 21 feet away. A non-trained ballistic shield officer has no idea how to stack up or move with another officer and a shield. The PCSO issues a ballistic shield to each patrol sergeant. They are trained in the use of the shield and carry them daily for use in situations not warranting SWAT. The PCSO, recognizing that any officer could be called upon to deploy a shield, developed a shield training program for all officers. Due to its simplicity and relevance, the shield training program has had positive reviews.