Target 11 sources: As many as 100 Pittsburgh officers failed new firearms test

·2 min read

In August, sources tell Target 11 that as many as 100 of the approximately 830 Pittsburgh police officers couldn’t pass the state’s new firearms recertification test.

The municipal officers’ education and training commission changed the scoring this year, making it more difficult, according to some officers.

Officers must complete a short course and a long course. They shoot from distances as far as 75 feet and as close as three feet. They are also required to shoot while standing and while kneeling, and they must fire each round in a certain amount of time.

On each course, they are allowed to fire 25 rounds and they get five points for each shot that hits the target.

A perfect score is 125.

An officer needs to score 94 to pass.

One officer scored as low as 36.

“It is shameful that so many officers can’t pass the firearms test. That’s unsettling,” said Beth Pittinger of the Pittsburgh Citizens Police Review Board.

The approximately 100 officers who failed the test were allowed to take it a second time. It is unclear how many passed the second test and how many failed again and were then temporarily removed from field duty. While removed from field duty, they are not allowed to work any overtime or secondary employment.

Officers who failed twice were also required to go through additional training before retaking the test.

Sources say most of the officers then passed the test the third or fourth time.

Sources said the big problem was that most officers only shoot once a year, when recertification is required.

The department said earlier this month that the plan is to change that.

“Our academy is looking at providing more extensive training, including firearms,” said Tom Stangrecki in a recent Pittsburgh police briefing.

Sources tell Target 11 they don’t believe any officers will be fired over this.

Officers will go through retraining until they’re able to pass the test.

The city declined to release any numbers, and said we would have to file a right-to-know request, which 11 News has done.

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