Citizens’ Academy participants learn about and have opportunity to fire police weapons

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For the Sept. 13 Citizens’ Academy, participants took a short road trip to Lebanon to the Boone County Shooting Range.

Westfield Police Dept. Officer Song Kang presents on weapons. (Photo by Anna Skinner)

Westfield Police Dept. Officer Song Kang is a firearms instructor as well as the department’s armorer, and he gave a presentation on WPD weapons to class members. After the presentation, we had the opportunity to shoot the duty and off-duty pistols carried by WPD officers.

A typical officer carries four weapons – a shotgun, a duty pistol, an off-duty pistol and a semi-automatic assault rifle. Officers such as Kang also have the ability to carry a submachine gun.

“A common question we get is why do officers in Westfield need that?” Kang said. “A simple answer is we want to be better than the bad guys. We want to have a better weapon system than the bad guys, and if we go into a gun fight, I want to have a bigger gun than the bad guys and go back to my kids and my wife.”

Although we weren’t allowed to shoot the shotgun, semi-automatic or submachine gun, we were able to observe Kang and other officers demonstrate shooting those on the range. We did have the opportunity to shoot the duty pistol and the off-duty pistol, which I took full advantage of.

The duty pistol is larger and carried on the hip of an on-duty officer. Officers carry the off-duty weapon while they are off duty. It is smaller, lighter and easier to conceal. Personally, I enjoyed firing the duty weapon more than the off-duty weapon.

Next week, the column will highlight the duties of K-9 officers.

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