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Doug  Wyllie

Doug Wyllie

Doug Wyllie has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips aimed at ensuring that police officers are safer and more successful on the streets. Doug is a Western Publishing Association “Maggie Award” winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. He is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

Lynne Doucette

Lynne Doucette

Lt. Lynne D. Doucette is a patrol supervisor and defensive tactics trainer with the Brunswick (Maine) PD. Prior to being the first female promoted at BPD, she worked as an undercover detective assigned to the state narcotics task force.

Patricia Teinert

Patricia Teinert

Patricia A. Teinert has been a Texas peace officer since 1984. She has served as a patrol officer, investigator, and member of a juvenile gang and narcotics task force. She is currently a patrol officer with Katy ISD Police Department.
Women in Law Enforcement

Defensive Position

July 13, 2009  |  by Erica Ortiz - Also by this author

I don't think the training we received in the academy prepared me for the variety of situations I've encountered in the field. Many times, the control holds don't work, and when you use your mace, most of the officers are affected by it while the intended target remains unaffected, unharmed and undeterred.

I also believe that officers should be given the new batons that the rookies have, because they appear to be more effective. We should all have stun guns as well. I actually think the stun guns would stop most acts of violence and resistance before they escalate beyond police control.

When I first came out, I worked in the 12th District, and it seemed like people didn't call police until things were already out of hand. Many times, we entered a situation that was already at the boiling point, and in my eyes we entered it with no real protection other than our guns, which are only for drastic situations.

I have been in too many fights to count, and I can't think of one where I used any of the control holds. Nine times out of 10, the baton was more in the way than an asset, and the mace was a complete catastrophe whenever a renegade cop broke the unspoken rule never to use it. Working as a uniformed officer was both the best time I've had in the Police Department and the worst because of the dangers I faced on several occassions. I trully believe that the Police Department should change what they teach in terms of self defense, because everyone I've spoken to in the past couple of days agrees that it was a waste of time.

Some suggestions I got from fellow officers: boxing lessons and stun-gun training. I agree with those suggestions and I would add one more. The self-defense training needs to be more fluid. The instructors taught us how to push an opponent away from us and how to back away but what happens after we've done that?

As a rookie, I remember being confused as to when or at what point I was warranted in strking someone. That needs to be made more clear, and the class [members] should be taught to defend themselves but also how to immediately go on the offense. That way, it becomes second nature to push someone away and immediately strike back until you overcome the resistance, because those few seconds of hesitation could easily cost you your life.

Comments (1)

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forcecontinuum @ 7/29/2009 6:19 AM

Totally agree. In one week, we learned handcuffing, arrest control, PPCT, SSGT, etc. No way I could confidently replicate what I learned there in a situation on the street. Besides, with the growth of MMA, it seems like 1 out of every 3 young guys you encounter is a Matt Hughes wanna be. I don't admit it to them, but they could probably kick the snot out of my one week at the academy. If you want more hand-to-hand training, you have to get it on your own. Short of that I guess you just take your chances and put on a tough face, hoping the guy isn't training currently with B.J. Penn. I say thank the heavens for tazers...let's see how well your "superman punch" fairs against a little lightning ride.

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