Citizen’s Academy learns about less lethal defensive tactics

{gallery}/10_27_09/sodog{/gallery}Defensive Tactics, what exactly does that mean? This week the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Citizen’s Academy learned about a number of different types of defensive tactics and the training that goes along with the usage of each.

Defensive tactics range from handcuffs to tasers, from pepper spray to attack dogs. Whatever an officer feels is necessary for the situation at hand. Every officer has to experience first hand every sort of defensive tactic they may use. If they are going to carry a taser then they will have been tased. This rule is in place for two reasons. The first being that the officer will know what his/her own reaction to any tactic may be. Some things affect one person differently than the next. The other reason is so that the officer will know what sort of reaction to expect from a suspect. Defensive Tactic training is initially a week long and focuses on several different areas; to be safe, to avoid lawsuits, to uphold the reputation of the sheriff’s office and to be good stewards of the county’s money. The training is geared to help each officer make good decisions in critical incidents.

Different types of tools and tactics include pepperballs, batons, handcuffs, legcuffs, tasers and attack dogs. The deputies are also taught certain types of hand to hand combat methods.  Tasers are mostly used in the jail, deputies on correction duty do not carry lethal weapons. Since the introduction of tasers to the correction facility there has been a reduction in injuries to staff and inmates. Tasers can shoot 21 feet, and are best used from a distance, they are not as effective when used up close. Tasers do not always work on a subject, certain things can make them not as effective as they should be.

Pepperballs work well in a crowd control type situation as they can be shot where they do not actually hit a person but perhaps a wall or the ground near the subject and still be effective. If ever an incident can be resolved without contact that is the goal.

Attack dogs are a great tool for deputies. The K9 program saves lives and helps to apprehend bad guys much quicker and safer. The dogs used by the sheriff’s office are Belgium Malinois. These dogs are agile, have intense drive, have very few medical problems and seem to work longer and harder than the shepards they used to use. Certain laws and department policies govern the use of dogs. Dogs are not used on juveniles. The dogs train regularly with their handlers and agitators. A dog is always the regular partner of the deputy who handles him, he goes where the deputy goes, he lives where the deputy lives.

We were given the chance to out do deputy “Chucky” finding a hidden subject in a building, but the dog beat us out and kept his partner much safer than we kept our own. This dog is trained to find the suspect and let his partner safely apprehend him. The dog will not back down until the handler tells it to. The dog will however stop his pursuit in seconds of the word of his handler. The handler and his partner were very effective and impressive to watch. They certainly got my attention. For some interesting videos on what these dogs can do go to http://www.youtube.com/wtch?v=QKf3Vhh0iwY.
By Kathy Sell

 

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