In the last blog post we talked about weapons handling in training following a disarming. Today we will talk about training considerations and practices once the officer has disarmed the threat.
At this point there are a number of factors the officer needs to access including, but not limited to:
- Is this the subject’s gun?
- If so does the officer have their own gun?
- Is this the officer’s gun and they have taken it back following a disarming?
- Are there other threats?
- Are there other officers at the scene?
- What is the subject doing at this point in time?
Fundamentally the officer’s choices following the disarming are to close and crush, or create distance and determine an appropriate course of action. If they choose to close and crush they need to use extreme violence to eliminate the threat to their life. If the weapon they took from the subject is the subject’s weapon the officer has no idea what condition it is in and cannot bet their life on using it as a firearm to stop the threat.
If the officer chooses to create distance from the subject they need to train for a couple of scenarios:
- If it is the subject’s gun and the officer has their own firearm they need to keep the subject’s gun in their support hand with the muzzle pointed away and draw their own firearm.
- If it is their gun that they have taken back then keep the weapon in close and perform a tap and rack. Too often officers have the tendency to extend the weapon in front of them as soon as they start to create distance. This is a habit from firearms training where they spend the majority of their time with the weapon either in the holster or extended. Many agencies do very little firearms training with the weapon tucked in close to the officers body.
The officer must continually assess the subject’s actions and determine the level of force needed to control the situation. In training officers need to practice all these scenarios. When practicing to create distance the officer needs to rehearse their response based on a variety of responses by the subject including the subject continues to attack.
Note: Today is the first day of our 2009 Legacy of Excellence Conference. Ever year we bring together a powerful lineup of speakers in an effort to share important training insights and information with as many officers as possible. This year we have Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Dr. Kevin Gilmartin, Jim Dowle, Chris Ghannam, Dan Marcou, Chris Butler, Kevin McInnes, and myself for the three day conference and Chris Lawrence doing a one day seminar on Excited Delirium and In Custody Death. For 2010 we already have Randy Watt speaking on leadership and Ken Murray on Training at The Speed of Life along with Dr. Bill Lewinski presenting a Force Science Institute seminar so mark September 7 to 10, 2010 on your calendar.