Fresno Criminal Justice Corrections students practice safe firearm handling
Author: Manuel Graves, Criminal Justice: Corrections instructor, SJVC Fresno
Cadets from SJVC Fresno’s Criminal Justice: Corrections program recently completed their weapons qualifications at the Fresno Pistol and Rifle Club Inc. in Auberry, Calif.
Under the close supervision of BSIS and NRA Instructors Mark Swagger and Andy Leudridan, 11 cadets enjoyed a two-day break from the rain and cool weather to complete the training.
The cadets completed their qualifications as a part of the newly approved CJ 63 BSIS Security Officers Academy at SJVC. In addition to earning their exposed firearm permit with the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, the cadets also earned a BSIS Guard Card, Baton Permit, and became certified to use Oleoresin Capsicum (OC), also known as Pepper Spray.
“These cadets really enjoy coming out and learning how to use a firearm,” said Manuel Graves, Criminal Justice: Corrections instructor, SJVC Fresno. “The hands-on training was invaluable. It was a real treat to go out there and observe the cadets getting this training. For some of the cadets, it was their first time ever firing a weapon.”
Swagger said, “Our main purpose out there was to teach these young men and women how to safely handle a firearm. We describe the weapon’s nomenclature, maintenance, safe handling rules, the fundamentals of marksmanship, and we teach them how to fire a pistol in two basic shooting positions, standing and kneeling. The cadets are required to pass the classroom portion of the firearm training course prior to qualifying on the range.”
The cadets fired a GLOCK 19 9mm Caliber Safe-Action Pistol at targets from various distances to properly learn the fundamentals of pistol marksmanship. To ensure the safety of all the cadets, each one was fitted with a bullet proof vest and required to wear eye and ear protection while on the range.
“The course of fire was conducted in six stages using 50 rounds of ammunition at firing distances of 15 yards, 7 yards, 5 yards and 3 yards,” said Swagger. “In order to qualify, each cadet had to earn a minimum score of 80 percent on the scoring segment. All of the students did well and qualified.”
A total of four Marksmanship Ribbons was earned by cadets for achieving a perfect score of 250 points. The ribbons were awarded to Angel Granados, Jesus Navarrete, Francisco Mendoza, and Floyd Gutierrez in a small ceremony held at the college on January 27.
“It was exciting considering most of the class has never fired a handgun,” said Cadet Ashley Lopez.
Cadet Destiny Savedra said, “Going to the range was an awesome experience. The range was beautiful and well-kept, which made all the difference while I learned how to shoot.”
This is SJVC Fresno’s first CJ 63 Security Officer’s Academy, and cadet participants include:
- Gabriela Cortez
- Angel Granados
- Floyd Gutierrez
- Ashley Lopez
- Emmanuel Mendez
- Francisco Mendoza
- Jesus Navarrete
- Rafael Quintanar
- Destiny Savedra
- Gregory Valdez
- Eric Zavala
About the Author
Manuel Graves received his Master of Business Administration Degree from National University in Fresno, Calif., in 2001. He is currently teaching criminal justice corrections courses at San Joaquin Valley College in Fresno. He was employed with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) for 29 years before retiring in 2014. While employed with the CDCR, he held numerous positions in custody, classification, and management. He is a strong advocate for career technical education and enjoys sharing his wealth of knowledge and experience with students pursuing a career in the criminal justice corrections field.
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