We went on a bus tour the second week that included a stop by the motor pool, where we saw, among other, more normal vehicles, an armored vehicle used by SWAT -
|KPD's Marine Corps Motorcycle|
We went to the 911 Center one evening. I believe it takes a special kind of person to work there, from the initial call screeners, to the dispatchers. They must be in communication with victims, officers, firefighters, and other emergency personnel during high stress events. They must stay cool and calm while doing this.
On Range Day, we were able to fire three different weapons that are in the KPD inventory, a .45 ACP SIG P220, a 12 gauge pump shotgun, and an M-16 with a 3-round burst selector. I was waiting my turn to shoot the rifle, which I had assumed was a semi-auto AR-15. The lady ahead of me shot, and I was surprised to hear instead of hearing a single BOOM, a RAT-TAT-TAT.
Here is a good place to note the difference between the action types available on the AR-15 genre of rifles.
M-16 or M-4 - This rifle is a fully automatic firearm that can be fired in either of two modes-
- semi-automatic, which means a single shot for each pull of the trigger
- fully automatic, also known as machine-gun mode; the gun fires as long as the trigger is pressed, or it runs out of ammunition.
- The 3-round burst is a variation of the fully automatic, it fires three rounds with each press of the trigger. Then the shooter must release the trigger, before engaging it for another three round burst.
AR-15 - This is the rifle that has become the most popular rifle in America. It is of the same size and shape as the M-16/M-4, but it shoots only in the semi-automatic mode. The semi-auto action was invented in the late 1800's and has been used in rifles, shotguns, and handguns ever since.
One more note on machine-guns, which are thought by many to be illegal for the average Joe. They are actually quite legal to own by anyone who can legally own a firearm. The owner must, however register ownership with the Feds and pay a $200 transfer tax when purchased. Due to a legislated scarcity, these legal guns are quite expensive, costing tens of thousands of dollars. One might call them rich men's toys.
|Officer Willson helping a student with the shotgun|
|Officers' Oath of Honor|
Here we are with the Bomb Squad, blowing up a piece of DETCORD.
Here we are with the explosion of TNT.
Watching the SWAT Team make a dynamic entry. Fast, coordinated, with live ammo!
Officer Willson helping a classmate with the pump shotgun. As can be seen, the recoil is noticeable, but not terribly bad with the loads we were shooting.
The KPD has a museum in police headquarters. One of the interesting guns on display is the WWII vintage M3 Grease Gun, so named for its resemblance to the automotive grease gun. This gun shoots the same .45 caliber ammo issued to KPD. It was designed to be a low cost, easily manufactured replacement for the Tommy Gun.
|M3 Grease Gun|
British Webley Revolver
Louis Monroe was our class president. His speech at our graduation ceremony was outstanding!
Here are a few takeaways from the class.
The Knoxville Police Department's Citizen's Police Academy was well worth attending. If you are interested in attending a future class, contact Officer Adam Willson, who did an excellent job of coordinating the class. Thanks a bunch, Adam 12.