“What if I told you police in your town could desensitize themselves to the idea of shooting a (armed) child, pregnant woman, or young mother, for just a couple of bucks?” Reason’s Mike Riggs asks.
Sadly, Riggs isn’t simply being perverse. He’s being 100 percent serious:
For less than 99 cents per target, police officers can now shoot at real-life images "designed to give [them] the experience of dealing with deadly force shooting scenarios with subjects that are not the norm during training," according to Law Enforcement Targets, Inc.'s website.
The company calls it the "No More Hesitation" series:
"Law Enforcement Targets, Inc. provides training targets and supplies for military branches, government agencies, law enforcement agencies, training organizations, private ranges, gun clubs, and shooting enthusiasts in the United States," a Bloomberg profile on the group reads.
Shortly after contacting the company to find out more about the series, the marketing team at Law Enforcement Targets, Inc. sent Riggs the following statement:
The subjects in NMH targets were chosen in order to give officers the experience of dealing with deadly force shooting scenarios with subjects that are not the norm during training.
I found while speaking with officers and trainers in the law enforcement community that there is a hesitation on the part of cops when deadly force is required on subjects with atypical age, frailty or condition (one officer explaining that he enlarged photos of his own kids to use as targets so that he would not be caught off guard with such a drastically new experience while on duty). This hesitation time may be only seconds but that is not acceptable when officers are losing their lives in these same situations.
The goal of NMH is to break that stereotype on the range, regardless of how slim the chances are of encountering a real life scenario that involves a child, pregnant woman, etc. If that initial hesitation time can be cut down due to range experience, the officer and community are better served.
There are seven targets in the series: Pregnant Woman, Older Man 1, Older Man 2, Older Woman, Young Mother, Young Girl, and Little Brother.
“Considering that the company has landed $5.5 million worth of contracts with the federal government,” Riggs notes, “it might also be interesting to know if these targets are being used by federal law enforcement agents.”
Law Enforcement Targets, Inc. could not immediately be reached by phone for comment. Also, as of 8:30 p.m. ET, it appears that their website is down.
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Featured image screen grab.