Police Firearms History
The PFOA is delighted to have Mike Waldren, the former SO19 Chief Superintendent as our resident firearms historian! Look out for his forthcoming articles.
Mike Waldren QPM
Mike joined the Metropolitan Police in 1967 and in 1977 as a sergeant he became a firearms instructor, a firearms team leader, a police sniper and a tactical advisor. After further qualifying as a bodyguard instructor with 22 SAS he was the designer and course director of the first MPS Bodyguard Training Courses for Special Branch and Royalty Close Protection Officers. These later became the model for the National Bodyguard Courses.
In 1982 as an Inspector he was the designer and course director of the first courses in the use of the Heckler and Koch MP5 9mm Carbine, the MP5(K) 9mm sub-machine gun and the first all-inclusive Firearms Team Courses, later to become the model for the National Rapid Intervention Courses.
In 1987, as a Chief Inspector, he became the Met’s Chief Firearms Instructor, a post he held for 5 years. In 1992 as a Superintendent he became head of the Met Firearms Unit’s operational wing and in 1994 as a Chief Superintendent he became the Unit’s commanding officer.
In 1999 he was awarded the Queens Police Medal for distinguished police service. During 33 years police service he was involved in many of the major armed operations in London and as a result has given evidence on police policy and procedure at many coroner’s court and civil court proceedings.
Mike retired from the police service in March 2000. In 2000 he was the Project Technical Consultant and co-author of a revised ACPO Manual of Guidance on Police use of Firearms which became effective in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in January 2001 and in Scotland the following July. He was also the co-author of the National Police Firearms Training Curriculum introduced into the UK Police Service in 2004. He has been involved in police training projects as far afield as China, Kyrgyzstan, UAE, Turkey and Qatar.
Mike has had many articles and two books published on policing, particularly as it relates to police and firearms, the most recent being ‘Armed Police – The Police Use of Firearms Since 1945’ published by Sutton.
'Throughout most of our history, the police use of firearms has been a taboo
subject. The image of the unarmed bobby had to be preserved at all costs and
some forces did not even admit that they had firearms until fairly recently.
If you have any information, particularly old documents or photographs,
relating to the police firearms in your force please get in touch with Mike
so that it can be preserved for posterity. You can contact him on