An anonymous person identified only as “Mebbeatroaway,” who’s claiming to be a current NYPD officer, hosted an “Ask Me Anything” thread on Reddit last night in which he took questions and decried the state of the department’s gun training. The topic, of course, is especially timely in light of last week’s Empire State Building shooting. In the thread, Mebbeatrowaway calls the tactical training given to officers a “joke” and claims that very few officers have actually received active shooter training. I’m not going to editorialize much here–Mebbeatroaway’s words speak volumes on their own.

“The NYPD offers once a month training for members to use, on their own time. However, all that is done during these sessions are the same basic dumbed down qualification exercises,” he or she wrote, describing the training available to officers. “You will only receive real help if you outright fail. Missed 12 out of fifty @ 7 yards? GOOD ENOUGH!”

“How does the biggest police department in America still have a 1950’s training regimen?” asked one California police officer. “If they raise the standards…TOO MANY PEOPLE WILL FAIL,” answered Mebbeatrowaway. The anonymous cop also claimed that some officers never clean their weapons unless forced to by the firearms unit, and described situations in which officers who asked about gun training were ridiculed by superiors.

Perhaps the most damning claim came in response to a statement about the capabilities of officers compared to gun-carrying civillians. “Any average CCW (concealed weapon licensed) citizen who practices twice a year pretty much has most of the department beat in terms of training,” said Mebbeatrowaway.

It’s important to reiterate that thus far, Mebbeatrowaway hasn’t given any proof of his status as an NYPD officer. “I’m not sending any pictures of anything,” he or she wrote, referencing the job’s “zero-tolerance” policy about speaking negatively about the department online. Mebbeatrowaway gave a tentatively positive response to a request for a picture of his badge with all identification hidden, but has not yet uploaded it. He or she will continue to answer questions until the end of the week.

(Photo: Flickr/Rene Passet)