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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 202417 Find in a Library
Title: Disarming: Few Survival Skills Are More Critical for Police Officers Than Weapons Retention
Journal: Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine  Volume:27  Issue:8  Dated:August 2003  Pages:64-67
Author(s): Bob Bragg
Date Published: August 2003
Page Count: 4
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the type of training and equipment required to prepare police officers to prevent and repel a suspect's attempts to disarm an officer and use his/her gun.
Abstract: The use of high-level retention holsters in most police departments has apparently contributed to a decrease in weapons retention training. Still, there continue to be incidents in which police officers are wounded or killed by suspects who have taken the officer's gun. The equipment carried by an officer determines the amount of time needed for weapons retention training. Equipment designed to counter an attempt to disarm an officer includes retention holsters, backup weapons, and Tasers. Backup guns that are easily accessible when an officer is struggling with an attacker who is preventing the officer from accessing his/her primary weapon is an important countermeasure. An accessible Taser can also be used to disable the attacker. In addition to equipment considerations, officers should also receive training in close hand-to-hand combat. The factors to take into account in such training are the nature of a surprise attack, a close encounter in which the officer and attacker are moving together, and the need to deliver counter-strikes that not only cause pain to the attacker but also disable him. There is also the need to follow up once there is a separation from the attacker who may have the officer's gun. Training should focus on both general fighting skills and weapons retention/disarming tactics. Training in prevention measures is of primary importance. Such training should focus on proper distancing and control of a suspect as well as appropriate weapons carrying when the gun is deployed in risky environments. Training in both prevention measures and defensive actions should encompass a variety of situations and tactics appropriate to each situation. In a struggle with an attacker, physical fitness may determine the outcome, so officers should ensure that they maintain physical fitness that will give them an advantage in most physical encounters.
Main Term(s): Police safety techniques
Index Term(s): Handguns; Police safety; Police weapons; Police weapons training; Police weapons use; Tasers
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