“Ah seldom miss at this range” – Deputy Dawg

"Ah seldom miss at this range."

“Ah seldom miss at this range.”

Some of you may remember Deputy Dawg, the lugubrious cartoon character, one of whose signature stunts was to put his revolver in the belly of a cartoon bad guy, announcing, “Ah seldom miss it this range.” And then firing thirty-seven-eleventy rounds. And when the smoke clears, his counterparty is standing unhurt, and Dawg announces: “Dang. Ah missed.”

Turns out there are some real Deputy Dawgs out there. And they’re all running departments.

ITEM: Jim “Missed It by That Much” Manfre

Lee Williams has the story of a gun-shy sheriff in Florida’s Flagler County, who not only can’t hit the broad side of the barn from inside the barn, but also is alleged to have sacked a firearms instructor for refusing to pencil-whip qualification records.

Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre has not qualified for his law enforcement firearms certification, even though he attended an in-service training class two weeks ago.

Manfre’s spokesman said this week the sheriff didn’t seek his certification Sheriff-Jim-Manfreduring the weeklong training session, but one of his former lieutenants — a one-time firearms instructor the sheriff laid off in 2013 — said Manfre has a history of poor performance firing his agency-issued Glock model 17, a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol.

Cmdr. Bob Weber said Manfre, who did qualify for certification at least twice during his first term as sheriff more than a decade ago, according to News-Journal archives, is permitted by law to bypass the state-imposed firearm certification for law enforcement officers because he is an elected civilian with legally granted “police powers.”

Shooting to cop qual levels is not hard. Except for some special snowflakes. Asked about it by the press, the Sheriff displayed remarkable courage:

Contacted by phone earlier this week, Manfre declined to answer questions about the issue because he was attending an event organized by the sheriffs association, which was Monday and Tuesday in Jacksonville. He referred all inquiries to [his flack].

OK, so maybe it wasn’t that remarkable, or terribly courageous. But he displayed something. But really, how bad is Manfre? This bad, says his former instructor:

When Manfre earned his firearm certification in 2001 and 2002, the range master was Gregory Weston. A former Marine and certified weapons instructor, Weston said he signed off on Manfre’s certification both times “under a level of duress.”

He said Manfre has “no business” carrying a gun and described him as uncoordinated and careless with the weapon.

“He’s running around with a gun he is not capable of using,” Weston claimed.

There’s a confidence builder for ya.

Turns out, he’s not the only one.

ITEM: “Pistol Pock Patrick” Berarducci

Consider Medina, OH’s police chief, Patrick Berarducci. In at least 2009 and 2011 the chief failed his sidearm qualification. But it’s not like he’s been a cop for a long time — he used to be an ATF executive. It gets better: he was an instructor in “criticial incident management,” and “media relations,” two areas in which ATF serves mostly as a bad example for public agencies. (In case you’re wondering what happened to Deputy Dawg, he’s probably undercover in the Hell’s Kennels with the ATF). But that 2012 story about Berarducci’s inability to hit anything isn’t the end of the story, because in April, 2013 he spectacularly demonstrated his ability to hit something.

"Hey, at least I didn't shoot my thumb off. There is that."

“Hey, at least I didn’t shoot my thumb off. There is that.”

Unfortunately, this is what he hit:

Chief Berarducci was holstering his Smith & Wesson .40 caliber Shield handgun when the trigger guard got caught and discharged a round into his upper thigh.

The bullet then exited his upper thigh, resulting in non-life threatening wounds.

Despite that, one of his media pals at the anti-gun Cleveland Plain Dealer describes Berarducci as, we are not making this up, “an expert in handling guns.” We don’t think the word means what the Plain Dealer knob-polisher thinks it means (isn’t he supposed to be an expert in handling words? No wonder he misunderstands “expert”).

Apart from marksmanship fit only for contact range (on his own thigh, no less) Berarducci has also had non-gun problems, like a 2012 suspension for a sexual come-on (what can you expect from a guy who came out of the “Good Ol’ Boys Roundup” era at ATF?).

You’d think the former ATF G-man (and G is not for Genius) would have decided it was time to hang it up, but a recovered Berarducci (who at least had a sense of humor about his predicament, something — besides targets — that the testy Manfre is “missing”) is still on the job in Medina. And is the city’s highest-paid public servant.

But he’s the end of it, right? Er, wrong.

ITEM: Heather “Doin’ it Wrong” Fong

Heather_FongFong is the former police chief of San Francisco. We saw a story recently at Guns Save Lives about her having gone at least five years without qualification (that’s 10 quals she didn’t even attend) when blowing a few of the semiannual quals is enough to suspend the rank-and-file cops she lords it over. Fong secured a qualification, which may have been pencil-whipped, after the San Francisco Chronicle’s SFGate website broke the story, but she resigned shortly afterwards. These events happened in 2008 (her non-qual years were at least 2002-2008), and since her April, 2009 retirement she has drawn a roughly $300,000 a year pension.  Fong was the first “out” lesbian Chief of the SFPD (NTTAWWT) and her main focus during her years as chief was “opportunity” for transgender cops. Because nothing says, “This person should be a police officer” like a major break with lucidity, sanity and reality.

Now us, we think more of us Napoleons should be cops. N’est-ce pas, Josephine?  Same thing, innit?

But wait, that’s just the chiefs who can’t shoot…

And these are a separate problem from the cops who pop one off negligently, the ones who shoot themselves in a botched puppycide, the ones who lose their $#!+ in a road rage incident and pull out their hogleg, the other ones who lose their $#!+ in a road rage, etc., the ones who run over a cyclist in the bike lane while texting (and lie about it) and are “cleared” in a minutes-long “investigation,” the ones who lose their self-control and launch over 10 rounds each at a single suspect from Polish ambush position, a spasm of unthinking, unaimed, contagious fire that hit the suspect several times but sent 20-plus “to whom it may concern” unaimed shots flying in a crowded Wendy’s, also killing a “COPS” TV Show soundman that the trigger-happy cops considered a friend, right up to the moment when they gunned him down. (That’s OK though. Those responsible have been placed on extra vacation, and won’t have to make a statement until they and their lawyers can work up a good story together).

To the extent that they’re not a dead letter, “rights” are for the little people. What cops have are Patents of Nobility.

So what can a cop do to get in trouble? Try shooting a tame elk out of season.

15 thoughts on ““Ah seldom miss at this range” – Deputy Dawg

  1. McThag

    We shouldn’t be surprised that politicians, which is what sheriffs and chiefs primarily are, cannot shoot.

    What we should be baffled at is they are thought of as cops at all.

  2. Raoul Duke

    Three thoughts-

    1. All policing is regional: Large departments and “back-east” attitudes may allow this kind of stuff to be the norm. Out West, and in a lot of small places, it will get you fired, and/or decertified.

    2. Bosses who can’t qualify to even minimum standards have absolutely NO excuse- They can usually decide to go shoot any time they want, and can order an instructor to help them get better. What gets in their way is usually vanity and superior self-image.

    3. There are bosses that are STILL cops, and there are bosses that were NEVER cops. There is a huge difference.

  3. Stefan van der Borght

    Pardon mon ignorance, mes amis…..what is a “Polish ambush”?

    ………”the ones who lose their self-control and launch over 10 rounds each at a single suspect from Polish ambush position,”……..

    1. Hognose Post author

      In the USA, a nation of immigrants, we have a cultural tradition of “Polish jokes,” based on the stereotype of the big, dumb Polish miner or steelworker. So conducting an ambush in 360º circle (or similar shape), facing in, with the object of the ambush at the centroid of your arrayed troops, is in Army slang a “Polish ambush.”

      The Afghan equivalent is the Mullah joke or specifically Mullah Nasruddin joke.

  4. Bill T

    Many of these “Chiefs” (You know, the ones who wear 4-5 stars) are the ones who can not/will not qualify and are usually the ones who want to disarm everybody. They should move to Jolly old England and join the Bobbies who have a whistle and a nightstick.

  5. Stefan van der Borght

    Jean Charles de Menezes would dispute the “Jolly” bit, and remind you that Bobbies do indeed have access to guns and do indeed use them (and can manage a whitewash just as well as US cops). Just because they don’t get used much at the moment doesn’t mean they won’t be at some point later, when the Jolly really wears.off. You didn’t think they disarmed the British for no particular reason? It’s so they don’t shoot back ina fit of post-Jolly rage when the gold really rubs off the cage bars.

    So what’s a Polish ambush, never heard of that before….

  6. Stefan van der Borght

    Ah, thanks WM. I looked up Nasreddin just in case; thought he was either one of your opfor or one of your allies, but being wiser now I guess he or one of his ideological descendants is a strategist with the State Department, or White House, or wherever the place is where folks come up with something for everyone to do next (I hope it has rubber walls). The Poles probably aren’t too chuffed with the ribbing, though at least it gives the Irish a break for a change.

    1. Bill K

      I hadn’t heard the term ‘Polish ambush’ either. I thought it was termed a ‘circular firing squad’.
      Not to be confused with a Mexican standoff, right?

  7. Derek

    As if the Plain Dealer reporting wasn’t bad enough, the article actually misspells “handling”: Medina Police Chief Patrick Berarducci is an expert at handing guns.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Oh, we missed that! Maybe “handing” is really what he’s expert at? What Tam calls “coonfingering” after the way a raccoon handles its food? That would explain a lot: “I was just handing my gun, and BLAMMO!”

  8. Bob

    Thanks for the laughs, man. But it’s pervasive, I’ll bet that not even 1% of all cops can actually shoot well enough to be “professionals” with a weapon. My anecdotal evidence/experience backs that up.

    Here in our medium-large city, we have over 1200 members at the private range. There’s all sorts of games for everyone to play, and a lot of guys/gals play 2-5 different ones. Most every regular participant in any of them, whether IPSC, IDPA, F-Class, Highpower, 3-gun, Cowboy Action, Benchrest, or whatever?
    They’re not too shabby. ;)

    We will get these groups of cops (usually as guests, since the cheap bastards don’t wanna fork out the $125/yr for a membership), 3-5 at a time, and they’ll come out to one of the competitions, looking down their noses at everyone, joking derisively at the chicks and old dudes, and generally being arrogant, obnoxious assholes. Until the games get underway.

    Having 10-25 regular competitors along with the usual few newbies, you’d think that the cops could at least make a decent showing. The odds would make you think so. Nope, they ALWAYS wind up at the bottom of the pack. Well, except for the one time this cop’s WIFE comes out with a group of them, and she placed 3rd in the IDPA match! The rest of them were sucking dregs. LOL!

    By the end of the first few stages of the game, it’s obvious that not only are these chumps out of their league, but they aren’t even capable of being competitive.

    Some will slink away with their tail between their legs, while others will make a big deal of cursing while fiddling with their rig, as if it was the gun’s fault. Which makes things even worse, since cursing at a match is definitely a no-no. But the bottom line is that these cops are SO GODAWFUL that it takes the UTMOST in restraint to keep from harassing them all the way back to the front gate. Especially after all the earlier displays of condescension and superiority.

    Let me state that if a cop ever shoots at me, I’ll feel *relatively* safe. I’ll be secure in that thought once I get a round or two off, and he/she is terminated.

    1. SRW

      Chucklin’ here, Bob… so similar to what happens at our club shoots.
      Some of the local gendarmes were visiting and shooting a steel match where the RSO gave them permission to “draw from the table if they felt uncomfortable drawing from their holster”. All drew from the table even after watching 30-40 others draw from their holsters.
      One of the MIBlue commented to me that my draw was pretty fast and dangerous to do, at which I replied, “I train like I’m gonna fight- and I don’t carry picnic tables with me.” Never saw him at another shoot.

  9. Jim

    Hey now,

    The Pineland Circle of Death, or as they say in your country, the “Polish ambush” is a viable technique for the well trained shooters.

    Sounds like you have the same problem in your country that we do in ours-our badge heavy cops can’t shoot!!

  10. Zelmo

    I’m offended that you disparage the Omaha police for shooting the COPS sound guy. Things like that happen in the ‘fog of battle’. /sarc

    They will work with their lawyers AND their UNION REPS to get the story straight. It is already almost swept under the rug, although they will be on paid vacation for a few more weeks.

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