Shotgun Training Helps Officers Stay Comfortable with Weapons
Armistead, Carolyn C., Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Carolyn C. Armistead Daily Herald Correspondent
Wielding shotguns, 117 officers from the DuPage County Sheriff's office descended on Reed-Keppler Park in West Chicago.
There was no emergency, though. The officers just came out for a little shotgun training offered by the West Chicago Gun Club.
"We do this twice a year," said range master and deputy John Schelling. "It helps keep the officers familiar with the weapon."
One by one, the officers took aim and shot - with impressive accuracy - at bright orange targets.
This periodic refresher course is especially important with shotguns, Schelling said, because they are used so rarely. Still, an officer always has one close at hand.
"The shotgun is used as a containment weapon if you have to contain a large area," Schelling said.
"Often the mere presence of a shotgun on a crime scene is enough to get control," said range master and deputy Ralph Pope. "The sound of the click -racking a shell into the chamber - indicates you're ready, if necessary, to shoot them."
Schelling gripped a shotgun and demonstrated the loud, menacing click-click of preparation.
"The bad guys know what that sounds like," he said.
Although Schelling's job requires familiarity with firearms, he stressed he is not particularly enamored with guns.
"If I wasn't a police officer, I wouldn't have a gun. …