In 2012, a white police officer in Alexander, Ar., killed a black man. The officer had received no training at all, Slate reports. In Arkansas, a person can work as a police officer for up to nine months, with the possibility of a three-month extension, before she is required to complete the state's three-month training course. As long as the new recruit passes a 50-round firearms qualification test—that means hitting a target 80 percent of the time from 25 yards away—the department can legally arm her with a gun.
Indiana has a similar law, New officers must complete training and receive certification from the state before their first anniversary on the job. In order to carry a weapon they must pass a firearms qualification test similar to the one in Arkansas. The fact that it's possible for police departments to grant people arrest powers, and arm them with guns, without putting them through the proper training first is especially disturbing at a time when the nation has been gripped by one high-profile officer-involved shooting after another.