Police learn advanced defensive tactics

Saturday, February 26, 2011
Banner Graphic/JARED JERNAGAN Bainbridge Town Marshal Rodney Fenwick, right, displays a knife fighting tactic on Putnam County Sheriff's Department deputy Ronnie Campbell Friday afternoon. The alternate rules of engagement class provides law enforcement officers with required training in advanced defensive tactics.

GREENCASTLE -- It's a matter of seconds.

That was the lesson local police officers learned Friday during the alternate rules of engagement training at the Putnam County Emergency Operations Center. The required training focused on defensive tactics in situations from mildly uncooperative subjects to life-or-death combat situations.

"This class will teach you how to survive when the odds are you would not survive," instructor Rodney Fenwick said.

Fenwick, the Bainbridge town marshal, reminded his colleagues that it only takes seconds for a benign situation to escalate into a deadly one. From that point, things can turn deadly instantly.

The class started with a refresher about pressure points. Fenwick reminded the other officers of locations on the body that can cause great pain, but no real damage, with simple pressure.

"Pressure points are a good way to do things with subjects who are a little bit noncompliant," Fenwick said.

However, the thrust of the training was much more about potentially deadly situations.

Fenwick reminded his students of the "22-foot rule" when dealing with suspects armed with cutting weapons such as knives or swords. Getting at least 22 feet away gives an officer time to react to a potential attack.

He also gave a couple of tips on how to recognize a suspect trained in combat. Someone trained in knife combat, for example, will generally carry the knife pointed downward.

The most important lesson, though, was that in situations where a suspect has pulled a deadly weapon, it becomes life or death for the officer. While law enforcement professionals are trained to do everything to avoid the use of deadly force, sometimes it becomes a matter of kill or be killed.

"You never quit. You quit when your last breath leaves," Fenwick said. "You never stop because if you stop, they've won."

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  • Awww, aren't they cute together...It looks like a father & son picnic.

    -- Posted by ProblemTransmission on Sat, Feb 26, 2011, at 2:16 AM
  • I think problem transmission is a quart low on intelligence. Law enforcement need all the training they can get on these idiots out there that think it is okay to kill or hurt cops. No, I am not related to Rodney or any police. Just lived in Bainbridge for a lot of years and had relatively no known problems.

    -- Posted by bearcat on Sat, Feb 26, 2011, at 8:48 AM
  • I assure you that PT is far more intelligent than you.

    -- Posted by KeyboardWarrior on Sat, Feb 26, 2011, at 9:04 AM
  • KW....seriously? ALL training is a bonus no matter what the job and police work is no different. The more training you have the better equipped you are to handle any situation.

    -- Posted by Mom2U4Now on Sat, Feb 26, 2011, at 9:51 AM
  • Great article to let the public know that our officers are getting very important training. Correctional Officers also get yearly training in defense. I don't care if one is an officer on the street or in the prison system-the more training the better. On the street it may be your life an officer might save-and an officer in the prison system protects the public and others on the inside.

    -- Posted by peace2019 on Thu, Mar 3, 2011, at 1:14 PM
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