9.065 - Firearms Training and Qualification

Effective Date: 11/20/2013

9.065-POL

1. Employees Shall Deploy With a Department-issued Primary Duty Firearm

The employee shall choose a primary duty firearm authorized in the Equipment Reference Catalog (ERC).

Exception: Officers who currently deploy a Department-issued revolver may continue to carry it as their primary duty firearm.

2. Sworn Employees Shall Qualify Annually With Each Firearm They Wish to Carry in Their Capacity as a Seattle Police Officer

Sworn personnel, including Reserve Officers, will qualify with their primary duty firearm annually as a condition of employment.

All sworn personnel shall qualify with backup and secondary firearms to maintain Department authority to carry them under the authority of an officer.

After qualification, employees will initial their score on the sign-up roster. The Firearms Training Squad (FTS) maintains the qualification score in the employee’s training record.

If the employee fails to qualify on their primary duty firearm in the calendar year, the ETS Captain shall forward the failure to report for training to the Office of Professional Accountability for investigation.

3. Employees May Obtain a Waiver to Qualify

Employees with a current medical condition may obtain a waiver to qualify through the Employment Services Lieutenant. Vacations, schedules, court, etc., shall not serve as grounds for requesting waivers.

The approved waiver shall only waive qualification for the calendar year they in which it is obtained. The employee must submit a new waiver by January 31 of each calendar year if they wish to extend the waiver. Employees will only be granted up to 2 consecutive waivers.

The employee shall arrange to qualify with their primary duty firearm within 30 days of release from an approved waiver.

See 9.065-PRO-1 Obtaining a Qualification Waiver.

4. The Department Shall Provide Sworn Employees With Equipment Necessary to Qualify

The Department shall provide ammunition, range safety equipment and other necessary materials to sworn employees for qualification on their Department authorized firearms and any issued rifles or shotguns.

5. The Chief of Police, Through the Assistant Chief of the Professional Standards Bureau, Shall Approve All Range Qualification Standards

See SPD Manual Section 1.190.

6. Sworn Employees Who Fail to Qualify With Their Primary Duty Firearm Shall Attend Remedial Training

Sworn employees shall receive two attempts to pass their qualification on their training date. Upon failure of the second qualification, the Firearms Training Sergeant shall arrange for remedial training for the employee.

The employee shall perform remedial training in the 60 days immediately following their qualification failure. It is the responsibility of the employee to arrange remedial training with the FTS. The Department shall provide ammunition for Department-issued weapons.

Exception: Reserve, Retired, and Special Commission Officers shall provide their own ammunition for remedial training.

Within the remedial training period, the employee shall attempt to qualify. If the employee fails to qualify at some point within the remedial peiod, they will surrender their duty firearm and will be reassigned to an administrative position that will not involve contact with the public. The FTS shall forward the information to the Firearms Qualification Review Board (FQRB).

The employee may submit a memorandum to the ETS Captain appealing the administrative reassignment within 2 days of the remedial qualification failure. The ETS Captain will include the memorandum in the file review for the FQRB.

The employee shall have an additional 60 days after remedial training in which to qualify with their firearm. If, on the 120th day after their initial qualification date, the employee has not successfully qualified on their primary duty firearm, the Chief of Police may impose discipline up to and including termination of employment.

Exception: The Department shall extend the 60 day window for any time the officer is out disabled and/or on sick leave.

The Department shall not impose the discipline decision until at least 10 days after the 120th day after initial qualification failure. If the employee successfully qualifies in the 10 day period, the Department shall waive the discipline and return the employee to their normal duty assignment.

See 9.065-PRO-2 Firearms Qualification Review Process

7. Employees May Appeal Reassignment to the Firearms Qualification Review Board (FQRB)

The employee may appeal their reassignment after failing remedial qualification The employee shall notify the Education and Training Section Captain within 2 days notice of the reassignment of their wish to appeal.

The FQRB shall consist of:

  • A Chair appointed by the Chief of Police
  • A representative of the employee’s bargaining unit.
  • A representative of the Education and Training Section.

The FQRB shall meet within 14 days of an appeal request and shall make a recommendation within 7 days of the meeting to the Chief of Police. See 9.065-PRO-2 Firearms Qualification Appeals Process

8. Sworn Employees Must Qualify With Their Secondary or Backup Firearms

Sworn employees who fail to qualify with a secondary or backup firearm shall not carry the firearm in the capacity of a police officer.

9. Sworn Employees Must Qualify With All Department-Issued Rifles and Shotguns

Rifle and shotgun officers who fail to attend annual qualifications for the rifle or shotgun shall surrender the firearm to the Firearms Training Squad. The FTS shall notify the ETS Captain in writing, at which point the ETS Captain will determine whether to offer a qualification to the employee for continued assignment to the rifle or shotgun program.

Rifle or shotgun officers who fail to qualify with a rifle or shotgun shall receive a 30 day remedial training period beginning on the date of the failure. Officers shall be responsible for scheduling and attending remedial training sessions with the FTS.

Exception: The Department shall extend the 30 day window for any time the officer is out disabled and/or on sick leave.

Rifle or shotgun officers must re-qualify within or at the end of this 30 calendar day period. The Department shall provide the officer with ammunition and range time to perform remedial training.

If the officer fails to qualify a second time, the Firearms Training Squad shall remove them from the rifle or shotgun program. Officers may appeal removal from the program(s) in writing to their respective Bureau Chief.

9.065-PRO-1 Obtaining a Qualification Waiver

Department Employee

1. Submits a waiver request including any medical documentation to the Employment Services Lieutenant via their chain of command.

a. If the employee is out on injury, their sergeant may perform this function.

Employment Services Lieutenant

2. Grants the request upon review.

b. If the request is denied, sends a memorandum to the employee documenting the reasons for the denial.

3. Forwards the original copy of the waiver to the Captain of the Education and Training Section.

4. Forwards a copy of the waiver to the Firearms Training Squad and the employee.

Department Employee

5. Schedules and attends a qualification with the Firearms Training Squad within 30 calendar days of doctor’s release or expiration of the waiver.

9.065-PRO-2 Firearms Qualification Appeals Process

Department Employee

1. Submits An appeal request to the Education and Training Section for their reassignment.

ETS Captain

2. Contacts the APRS Captain and the involved employee’s bargaining unit to schedule a FQRB meeting.

3. Contacts the involved employee and notifies them of their right to attend FQRB review.

4. Collects any written or oral information the employee wishes to submit for review in their case.

FQRB

5. Meets and reviews the file.

6. Determines if the reassignment of the employee is upheld or denied.

a. If the FQRB denies the reassignment, recommends the Chief order the employee to return to their normal duty assignment.

7. Makes a recommendation to the Chief to:

  • Offer the employee another weapon/caliber from the approved primary duty firearm list,
  • Offer the employee another 60 day remedial training program with a qualification attempt, or
  • Offer the employee additional training from an outside entity.

8. Forwards the recommendation to the Chief of Police for review.

Chief of Police

9. Decides on the disposition of the employee based on the recommendation.

10. Notifies the employee, their bargaining unit representative, and the ETS Captain of the decision within 14 days of receipt of the FQRB recommendation.

Department Employee

11. Reports to remedial training or qualification attempt upon order from the ETS Captain.