FOX 5 has learned that 30 officers from the Atlanta Police Department have failed to pass a tough firearms exam. That means their weapons were pulled and those officers can't patrol the streets for at least 45 days.
Each year, each of more than 1900 police officers in Atlanta must re-qualify with their guns in order to keep their jobs. Major Jeff Glazier of the Atlanta Police Academy said that in 2012, Chief George Turner signed a new directive that stated officers who fail the test get their weapon taken away.
The officers said that the city has changed the exam without allowing them to train on the new procedure.
"What it does is it turns the targets faster so it adds a little bit of a time crunch to the officers, a little more pressure when they go out there," Glazier said.
Glazier said the test now has two targets.
"So as an officer goes down range, he is moving and shooting to the left and shooting to the right from his lane, which makes it a little more difficult," Glazier said.
Buckhead Zone 2 has been hit hard after having to sideline a number of officers for 45 days, including a recognized rifle shot who could not pass the test with the handgun. A Zone 2 sergeant with 25 years on experience also failed the test.
Officers said that the department does not allow them to simulate practice with the new procedure.
Glazier said that "in 2012, we started raising the bar," when asked by Atlanta City Councilmember Howard Shook about the lack of a chance to practice the test.
Officers are allowed to retake the test after 45 days. If they don't make the grade that time, they must go back through recruit class.
Most of the 30 officers have returned to patrols after initially failing the tougher test.