Author: J. Lee Weems

Chief Deputy of the Oconee County (GA) Sheriff's Office GA POST General & Firearms Instructor, FBI Police Firearms Instructor, Instructor of Political Science

Class Review: Advanced Tactical Pistol with Ken Hackathorn

“Under stress, you have got to have skill… Situational awareness is the single most important skill.” –Ken Hackathorn


Eighteen shooters turned out for a rainy Saturday and beautiful Sunday of shooting with one of the foremost instructors in the business. Participants came from at least three states, and the class was a mix of private citizens, federal agents, and the Sheriff of a Georgia county.

Ken Hackathorn 2014 - Tactical Handgun

Ken Hackathorn 2014 – Tactical Handgun in Atlanta, Georgia


We began with a discussion of common elements found in self-defense incidents. That was followed by a discussion of current trends in the firearms industry and the firearms that he is most commonly seeing coming through his classes now.

We then moved on to the live fire portion of the class and did some basic shooting and assessment drills so that he could see where we all were as shooters. The drills were pass/fail drills shot against a standard. We shot these as a mix of individual competition and the entire class shooting the drills altogether. We also shot some pivot/turn drills as well as some reloading drills. After a supper break, we had a low light session.

Sunday was a full day of shooting. The focus was primarily on shooting while moving. Added to that was some strong-hand-only and support-hand-only work.

Of note, we shot some point shooting drills. One of these drills involved a lot of movement and with our sights taped over. We then shot the same drill using sights. The evolution in which the sights were used had better results. Imagine that; that little bumpy thing on the muzzle end is actually there for something…. might as well use it. (Note: that is a poke at people that say you don’t need your sights inside certain distances. It is not a poke at the drill or the instructor.)

As for what he was packing, Mr. Hackathorn was toting a Hackathorn Signature Series 1911 from Wilson Combat. There was quite a bit of friendly banter back and forth on this issue as he is an unabashed fan of the 1911 platform.

Ken Hackathorn 2014 - Tactical Handgun

Ken Hackathorn 2014 – Tactical Handgun in Atlanta, Georgia

I enjoyed the opportunity to spend a couple of days with someone as venerated as Ken Hackathorn. I particularly enjoyed the back and forth banter and all of the historical insights.

Ken Hackathorn 2014 - Tactical Handgun

Ken Hackathorn 2014 – Tactical Handgun in Atlanta, Georgia

And now for a bonus science lesson:


Oaths of Office: Sheriffs, Deputies, and Jailers (and a rant)

One of the things that I like about this blog software is that I get to see what search terms are leading readers here.  Sometimes these search terms inspire a new posting, and this is one of those instances.  I have gotten quite a few hits lately seeking information on the oath of office for Sheriffs and Deputies.  Please note that the oath is the same for Sheriffs and Deputies alike:




I, ____________ do swear that I will faithfully execute all writs, precepts and processes directed to me as Deputy Sheriff of the County, or which are directed to all Sheriffs of this State, or to any other Sheriff specially, I can lawfully execute and true returns make, and in all things well and truly, without malice or partiality, perform the duties of the office of Deputy Sheriff of Oconee County, during my continuance therein, and take only my lawful fees.

I do further swear that I am not the holder of any unaccounted for public money due this State, political subdivision or authority thereof, that I am not the holder of any office of trust under the government of the United States (except Postmaster), nor either of the several States, nor any foreign State, and that I am otherwise qualified to hold said office according to the Constitution laws of Georgia, and that I will support the Constitution of the United States and of this State.  So help me God.

Signed: …………………………………………….

Sworn to and subscribed before me, this ___  day of _____________


Sheriff, Scott R. Berry

Oconee County Georgia

Jailers also take an oath of office; so, I have included it here as well.   A Deputy Sheriff who is assigned to the jail takes the oath of office for both positions.


Oconee County Sheriff’s Office


 I, _____________,do swear that I will, well and truly do and perform, all and singular, the duties of jailer for the County of Oconee; and that I will humanely treat prisoners who may be brought to the jail of which I am keeper and not suffer them to escape by any negligence or inattention of mine, so help me God.


Signed: _____________________ Date:______________



Scott R. Berry , Sheriff

Personnel who are hired initially to work in a jail have six months from their date of employment to complete an 80 hour Basic Jail School.  In order to become a certified peace officer, those personnel must complete the 408 hour Basic Law Enforcement Training Course.  If a person is already certified as a peace officer and gets assigned to a jail, they have six months to get certified as a Jailer.

Now, for one of life’s little injustices, Deputies are eligible for the Peace Officer’s Annuity Benefit Fund (POAB).  Jailers are not.  So, a Deputy assigned to the jail is eligible for POAB, but a Jailer doing the exact same job is not.  Why?  Because the State of Georgia says so, that’s why.  It should be noted that the State has seen fit to include state correctional officers in POAB but not Jailers.