POLICE Magazine

FEB 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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P O L I C E M AG .C O M 39 After the sce- nario was com- plete, all participating officers debriefed training instructors on what their thoughts were during the course of the attack. Near- ly all of them said they were caught completely off g u a r d and that they didn't really realize what was happening until they had been stabbed multiple times. LATERAL MOVEMENT After debriefing, all officers were then trained in an alternative response with two components. One singular tech- nique was shown for blocking and/or trapping the knife hand, and then of- ficers were shown the value in mak- ing an aggressive lateral movement when attacked. e exercises were repeated several times before officers attempted the simulation again, with emphasis mainly on the im- portance of making a lateral movement. As the element of sur- prise was impossible to rec- reate, the scenario began with the attacker already latched onto the officer and the knife already out. is led to much less reac- tion time for the officers. During the exercise, all offi- cers made an aggressive lat- eral movement. Some of them trapped the attacker's knife hand, while some officers went immediately to their weapon. Officers were left unrestricted with how they chose to respond. During this session, though all of- ficers were stabbed, on average they were only stabbed about 1.5 times before ending the threat. While this decreased number of stabs cannot be accurately compared to the average number of stabs received during the first scenario, it does sup- port the theory that lateral movements win fights. is is a principle widely be- lieved to be true in gunfights, fistfights, ground fights, knife fights, and so on. When we fight in angles, we increase our chance of survival. e reality remains that knife attacks are brutal and deadly. Even with highly developed skills, the likelihood of being injured is very high. However, based on these preliminary trials, it seems that if officers condition their instinctual re- action to be a lateral movement when a threat presents itself, they will have a greater chance of survival during a spontaneous knife attack. Sgt. Clay Culpepper is a DT and firearms instructor with the Marietta (GA) PD.

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