Earlier this year, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department went to the county’s inspector general with concerns about the upward trend of negligent discharges that were happening withe the agency’s new sidearm: the Smith & Wesson M&P9. Earlier this month, the inspector general released its report.
TFB contributor Aaron E. is a full time cop and trainer, plus writes at BlueSheepdog.com. He breaks down the inspector general’s 59 page report on the LA County Sheriff’s Office negligent discharges into something a little more manageable.
Among the findings:
- deputies violated basic gun handling safety, specifically, having a finger on the trigger when he or she should not
- the external safety of the previously issued Beretta was a non-issue as the safeties were disengaged when drawing the gun
- some negligent discharges happened when trying to activate the remote grip switch for the mounted SureFire light (sympathetic reflex)
- lack of adequate training time to overcome flawed habits with the Beretta
- inadequate training with weapon lights (a 30 minute video only)
- purchasing decision for the SureFire lights was questionable
The inspector general report gave detailed recommendations for additional training to correct the problems. Additionally, the IG made recommendations on improving/correcting the process of acquiring new gear.
The Force Science Institute previously issued a warning about the remote pressure switches used by SureFire to activate lights on handguns. In the 2011 warning, the institute illustrated several incidents where the switches were at least casually involved with the unintended shooting of unarmed citizens. Further, the warning went on to describe how this may happen under stress.
Take a look at Aaron’s article for additional details on the IG report and the problems with the sheriff’s office.