The course titled “Pistolcraft for the Tactical Operator” is a short four-to-six-hour (depending on the number of people in attendance) firearms training segment presented at the annual SWAT academy hosted by the South Suburban Emergency Response Team (aka S.S.E.R.T.). This curriculum outline of this course has been reviewed and approved by the National Rifle Association’s Law Enforcement Division.
The SWAT academy is a 90-hour training class divided into three phases that are scheduled on the last weekends of April, May, and June. Our course is always presented in the last phase in June at a range located in Mt. Carroll, Ill., at a location called the Site Firearms Training Facility.
This is a handgun-only course designed to take experienced police officers outside of their comfort zone. The class of approximately 25 candidates is divided into “A” and “B” groups where both groups are taught the same curriculum even though each group reports separately. This course consists of drills and challenges that take the patrol officer out of his or her comfort zone by participating in about six to seven shooting drills.
The listed drills are not extreme or physically demanding, but they are pistol-shooting exercises the officers normally do not get to practice or experience at their agencies. The course begins with instructors introducing themselves by sharing backgrounds and experiences. Range safety principles are discussed along with the overview of the course and objectives.
Drill No. 7: Bounding and overwatch The activities of this class for the 2021 SWAT Academy has been posted and available to view on YouTube at https://youtu.be/zjA24es0MW8 (Pistolcraft For The Tactical Operator)
Author: Brian C. Smith is a retired Captain from the Chicago Heights Police Department with 30 years of service. While at CHPD, he served as a Commander of Training, Special Operations Unit, and Range Master. He formerly served as Chief of Police for the Village of Glenwood. Brian currently serves as a patrolman part-time with Steger PD and full-time at Prairie State College PD in Chicago Heights where he serves as Range Master for both agencies.
Brian has acquired approximately 18 firearms instructor-related certifications, an NRA firearms training counselor. He was named “Instructor of the Year’’ by the Midwest Training Institute in 1993, NRA Law Enforcement Division in 2014, and the International Law Enforcement Educators Trainers Association.
In 1981, he founded the Metropolitan Police Self-Defense Institute teaching law enforcement and civilians firearms along with self-defense tactics. He is the Senior Vice-President of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and President of the American Federation of Police.
He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy’s 184th session and a freelance writer on topics such as firearms training, self-protection, and tactical team operations. For the last 18 years, he has served as an adjunct instructor teaching “Pistol Craft for the Tactical Operator” course for the South Suburban Emergency Response Team’s annual SWAT Academy. Brian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook (Brian C. Smith) or through his website (mpsdichicago.com).