Keeping up with the times: Richland Police shooting range traini - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Keeping up with the times: Richland Police shooting range training

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RICHLAND, WA - Continuing education is important for a lot of different jobs, including police work. Locally, officers get over 100 hours of extra training every year. Our cameras were invited to tag along for some shooting range training with Richland Police.

The training stations included a low-light drill, accuracy practice and weapon malfunction resolution, among other things.|

"This is one of our five training days that we have every year. This training day specifically is focusing on firearms, the mechanical use of firearms, manipulating magazines, malfunctions, things of that nature," said Richland Police Captain Mike Cobb. He explained that Washington state mandates just 24 hours of continuing education a year.

"In the Tri-Cities we average between 100-140 hours. All the police departments and sheriff's offices are able to maintain that high standard and that translates into a higher level of service for our community," said Captain Cobb.

The firearm training focused on single hand drills and trigger controls with handguns. However, they do trainings with non-lethal weapons and rifles, as well. 

"There's also constant revisions coming out: whether it's a court decision or a tactical piece from an operation that we've learned about. So it's very, very vital that our officers stay on the cutting-edge of knowledge," said Captain Cobb.

From targets to technology: one of the training stations used laser guns and an app on a tablet. 

Captain Cobb stressed that this isn't about teaching the force to shoot, it's about teaching them when to shoot and in which situations.

"Our training shifts to accommodate the environment we're faced with and as we see the positive aspects of defusing and de-escalating.. It's not that we haven't done that in the past. We certainly have, we're just trying to do it more effectively and learn from our peers," said Captain Cobb. He went on to say some local initiatives have changed police practices across the nation, as well.

Firearm training is just one type of training Richland Police do every year. The officers also keep up on certifications for things like crisis intervention, first aid and de-escalation tactics.