By Lars Dalseide | April 24 2012 13:45

Unlike the classes you find on, courses for Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor Schools provide the delicate balance of skills necessary for police officers to safely and effectively perform their duties on the streets every day. Mike Lane, an NRA Tactical Police Competition volunteer out of Lewisville, Texas, is attending one of those classes in Horton, Kansas this week. Here's his report:

Gunny R. Lee Ermey and Police Officer Mike Lane at the NRA National Police Shooting Championships

Lewisville, Texas - I've been wanting to attend an NRA instructor school for quite sometime. Scheduling, personal finances and that ever shrinking departmental budget always seemed to fight against me. Now the stars have aligned. Not knowing where in the world the town of Horton is, I entrusted that sweet sounding lady trapped inside my GPS to direct me there quickly – I soon learned there would be nothing “quick” about it. I drove north for the Red River, reclined my seats and watched the sights of greater Dallas/Fort Worth fade in my mirrors. Great Plains here I come.

A few hours later, rows of hay bales and farm houses I passed over the last 200 miles began running together. Don’t get me wrong, this was God’s Country for sure, but my trunk was packed with over 1,500 rounds of ammunition. I was anxious to get to the range. Lucky the needle on the fuel gauge was pointing towards the bottom and it was time to pull in for a break. Pulling to the side, a quick check on the Android’s fuel-finder app revealed that there are no Exxon/Mobile fuel stations anywhere in Oklahoma or Kansas. (Actually, it did show there were two stations located in Oklahoma on Interstate 35, but neither were remotely close to my location.) So much for using the city’s fuel card on this trip.

Once in the Sunflower State, I soon entered the “Kansas Turnpike” formerly known as the free-to-travel Interstate 35 to all those Texans and Okies to the south. The sun dipped below the vast western horizon and all of those traveling down that stretch of highway were treated with one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever witnessed. I stopped, got out and took it all in. It was magnificent.

The rest of the trip was quiet and peaceful — save for the 30 minutes of wind buffeting my left eardrum due to a defective passenger door window. I rolled down the windows to enjoy the cool night air only to find it did not roll back up. That’s what I get for trusting our fleet maintenance guy to set aside his best pool vehicle for the trip! (Just kidding Cody, I apologize for the adjectives I used during the call. Not that you could hear anything over all the wind noise! Oh, the duct tape is still holding!)

By 22:30 hours I am finally in my hotel room and tossing my gear on the spare bed. Lights out. Tomorrow is Day One for Firearms Instructor School. I can't wait to begin.

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