Reminder: You must wear your vest at qualification range

Tom Kennedy

Rob Sandoval, a sergeant in the Firearms Training Unit, has issued a reminder to officers – all of whom must fire their annual qualifying rounds in the upcoming quarter – that they must wear their bullet-proof vests when they come to the range.

“Most people are not used to it,” Sgt. Sandoval explained. “They come to the range once a year to meet the TCOLE requirement. In the past it was on an off-duty basis, so you didn’t have to wear the vest.

“The last contract made it mandatory, which made it on-duty.”

The message: Wear your vest any time you come to the range. Sandoval underscored that message when officers come to the range in the April-May-June quarter.

Sandoval said HPD might be one of the last major departments in the nation to make this rule. “It was a long time coming,” he said. “Chief Acevedo mandated it Jan. 1.”

Reminded that some exclusive restaurants that require a coat and tie for male patrons have some on hand for potential patrons, Sandoval did say he has a few spare vests available. There were some ifs and buts, however.

“They may ore may not fit. Please bring your own vest. If not, we will have some that might not work for you. You have to understand that someone may have just worn it and sweated in it. It’s problematic when you imagine a female officer wearing a vest just worn by a male, and vice versa. It just might not be in the best condition to be worn.

“So you really need to bring your own, whether you’re qualifying or in training,” he said, referring to the other three quarters in which all officers are required to go through designated firearms training sessions that address such topics as malfunction drills, use of cover, precision and reloading.