Captain Phillip Hemphill, 10-time NRA National Police Shooting Champion and the 2007 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, was spotted several times at the 2010 Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show.
Finally cornered at the Rock River Arms booth, the gentle giant of a champion agreed to a brief interview with NRAblog. Hemphill has been to five SHOT Shows, and he said the 2010 show was positive. “Traffic has been off the charts, and it looks like it’s that way for everybody in the rifle business (on the show’s exhibit hall),” he said.
Hemphill, who serves as the instructor for his department’s Police Academy, assured us his “fully capable, dependable assistant” was managing the range in his absence. NRAblog snuck in a comment about the upcoming 2011 National Police Shooting Championships, hoping Hemphill would divulge his plans. “I have no idea,” was the response. An 11th title might look awfully nice, we pointed out. “It’s still a long time out,” he responded. “I just don’t know.”
We tried a different angle. “Well, maybe you should retire … Border Patrol Agent Robert Vadasz would appreciate the chance to reclaim the NPSC title.”
“Vadasz always says he shoots better when I’m there,” he said. [Vadasz won in 2008 when Hemphill stepped back from the line, and narrowly lost to Hemphill upon his 2009 return. The two are friends.] “Anything to help that boy out,” he grinned.
Stay tuned for more on Hemphill’s next move. For now, it’s back to Mississippi, sharing his knowledge with the next generation of law enforcement officers.