Law Enforcement Training

 

We offer the best combination of training around for peace officers or correctional officers. If you are currently in the field or law enforcement or corrections please take a few moments to look over this page and I am sure you will find it hits home with your own personal experiences or those of your partners.
Arrest, control and baton (ACB) is one of the leading causes of academy failure so we also offer private lessons for anyone interested in getting a jump start on their academy use of force training.
We all know that being in law enforcement is a risky endeavor. Why make it even more risky? At the bottom of this page I have included some basic stats that everyone entering law enforcement or already working in law enforcement should think about. Practical self defense should just be a part of your life because it is the best most effective way to come home safe. Anyone who has already been in a violent fight has found out that it is not always that easy to transition to your baton, pepper spray, taser, or gun. In addition to being a certified instructor in all aspects of law enforcement use of force training, I have also been teaching and training in combative arts for over 17 years. There are several misconceptions about the training officers receive that is dangerous to your safety.
Myth #1: When assaulted you can easily transition to a more appropriate weapon and gain control of the situation.
First and foremost, anytime you have someone attacking you action is always faster then reaction. Officers learn about the infamous 21 foot rule when dealing with a suspect. The rule states: A person standing 21 feet away can lung forward and stab an officer before he can draw his duty weapon and fire two rounds center of mass. This was recently tested and was for the most part held to be true under certain conditions.
Why is this important? For one, they hardly train you how to deal with this in the academy. This is important because it shows just how vulnerable you are if your first reaction is to occupy your hands (your only means of instant defense) with a weapon that is useless if you do not have the time to draw, point and shoot. I am not saying you should fist fight a deadly threat I am simply saying it may be more tactical to use your hands to strike and side step or pivot and then look to draw and engage the target as opposed to taking a potentially fatal stab wound while attempting to draw. While a person can lung quickly they are also then bound by the very laws of physics (inertia) that they have begun applying. A lunging person cannot change directions rapidly or stop their lung quickly because they must overcome their own forward inertia first and then redirect it. This means a standing person has the advantage on angular, lateral, and circular body movements. Ironically, in the article listed above which tested the 21 foot rule the training suggestion to deal with this was for angular movement and shoot drills.
Pepper Spray:

Pepper spray does not work on 12% of the population

Pepper spray can be rubbed back in your own eyes

Pepper spray can be blown by wind back into your face or your partners.

The prison population is accustomed to being sprayed in the correctional setting are you?

Taser:

These have proven to work quite well. There is a 21 foot limitation and they are being heavily scrutinized by the public.

You do have reaction time issues (which I elaborate more on below) with drawing this weapon and it can be used against you.

Baton:

Batons are especially useful in crowd control situations when you have a great deal of back up.

They can get in the way while chasing someone and are often lost when climbing over fences.

You can loose your grip fairly easily which will cause the weapon to come free upon impact.

They are not that effective on subjects who may not feel pain due to being under the influence or 5150.

In-close fighting or grappling makes batons virtually useless unless you are highly trained to use them under those conditions.

Duty Weapon:

When the law allowed officers to shoot a fleeing felon this was a powerful weapon. Now, subjects know the requirements for deadly force are higher and use that knowledge to assault officers.

Your gun can be turned against you

Level three holsters require almost 2 full seconds for most officers to draw and fire a round.

I personally can hit a bag full force (not slapping strikes) 6-10 times in 2 seconds depending on the strikes so if you have someone in front of you (just outside arms reach) who starts swinging and you respond by trying to draw your gun you are going to get hit several times. If you don’t believe me just log onto YOUTUBE and type in “cop fights” and you will see plenty of examples of
officers getting knocked silly while they are frantically trying to draw their gun.

Here is just one example of how problematic transitioning can be (video).

 

Myth #2: Pain Compliance Techniques Work.
Did you ever wonder why so many officers complain about the fact that the wrist and joint locks they learn don’t work? This is because they are on average ineffective against subjects who aggressively resist. So this begs the question why do we teach them? We have to look to history for that answer.
The training that officers are currently taught for pain compliance was a direct result of the peace protests during the 60’s. Officers needed a way to break the interlocked arms of protestors and get them to stand up or move. These techniques were very successful and were used to smoothly integrate suspect control with handcuffing. The problem is they were designed for “peaceful” protestors. Now we have “violent” three-strikers and gang bangers who not only aggressively resist but also practice in prison on how to escape these holds. Once again, if you don’t believe me go online and watch some youtube videos. You will see officers trying to twist and grab suspects by the wrist while they are getting clobbered in the head by the suspect’s other hand. As a side note, these techniques can be very useful in correctional settings or situations where there are several officers to control the subject but in a violent street fight you are asking to get knocked silly trying to grab and control someone by the wrist or arm.
Myth #3: The academy training was enough for officer safety.
Can a baseball player become highly skilled in 5 months? How about a basketball player? What about Football or hockey? The point I am getting at is any physical skill as complicated as any of the sports above requires years of training to become proficient. Why did I use the word “proficient” because proficiency at fighting is what will help keep you stay alive. According to the dictionary being proficient “implies a thorough competence derived from training and practice.” It was only recently that arrest control and baton was even deemed a perishable skill which means officers are now required to have yearly re-fresher training. Even with this yearly review most officers after a year or two out from the academy can only perform a few of the original techniques that where taught to them. Even if they do remember more movements, most officers will tell you they only feel confident in a few moves and therefore do not try the others because they don’t want to gamble on their safety with movements they aren’t confident in performing.
Do you think good performance in fighting is any different then training to perform good in any of the sports listed above? Fighting is very complex when you think about stand up striking versus transitioning to the ground or when weapons or multiple opponents get into the mix. You owe it to yourself and your family to keep yourself safe out there and 5 months of pain compliance isn’t the best preparation for life or death fights.
In my opinion, all officers should have at least 4 to 5 years of formal training in a mixture of training modalities that include reactive based striking found in boxing, kickboxing, or self-defense based systems (not kata’s or traditional martial arts that focus on form) coupled with a solid grappling art preferably Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Why 4 to 5 years? Because that is the time it takes to train your average person and get them to a “proficient” level of skill in fighting. Most of us in law enforcement are pretty clean cut, honest, hard working people. You would not have passed your background if you weren’t but the people who are trying to kill you are often hardened criminals who have been fighting in the streets for years and they have no conscious about hurting you or anyone else.
Luckily, here at Woodall’s we offer training for all of the above. Our self-defense programs were developed by a former officer and designed to help citizens and officers alike fight back and survive violent assaults.
Officer Statistics: Between 1996 and 2005, of the 575 officers killed —

26% were in arrest situations

18% were in ambush situations

18% were making traffic pursuits/stops

17% were on disturbance calls

12% were investigating suspicious persons/circumstances

10% were in other situations

In 2005:

27.4 percent of the 57,546 officers assaulted suffered injuries.

Of the officers who were injured as a result of assaults with weapons:

29.1 percent of the officers were attacked with personal weapons.

13.4 percent of the officers were attacked with knives or other cutting instruments.

9.1 percent of the officers were attacked with firearms.

24.6 percent of the officers were attacked with other types of dangerous weapons.

For the seventh year in a row, the largest percentage of assaults of officers (14.4 percent) occurred from 12:01 a.m.-2 a.m.

The smallest percentage of assaults of officers (2.7 percent) was from 6:01 a.m.-8 a.m.

The largest percentage (30.5) of officers assaulted were responding to disturbance calls (family quarrels, bar fights, etc.).

12.8 percent of the officers assaulted were handling, transporting, or maintaining custody of prisoners.

11.1 percent of the officers assaulted were performing traffic stops or pursuits.

USA Flag2

I never dreamed it would be me  My name for all eternity  Recorded here at this hallowed place  Alas, my name, no more my face 
“In the line of duty” I hear them say  My family now the price will pay  My folded flag stained with their tears  We only had those few short years 
The badge no longer on my chest  I sleep now in eternal rest  My sword I pass to those behind  And pray they keep this thought in mind 
I never dreamed it would be me  And with heavy heart and bended knee  I ask for here and all the past  Dear God, let my name be the last 
By Sgt. George Hahn, Retired L.A.P.D