Law enforcement officers learn 'real life' self-defense tactics

Officers getting training on how to use non-lethal training

(WBTV) - Officer training, techniques and tactics are top-of-mind in communities and police departments across the country.

There's a Sheriff in North Carolina making it mandatory for his deputies to have some added self-defense training to give them the extra confidence he says they need to protect themselves and the community on the job.

WBTV was there as deputies with the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office in Wilmington took a class called OSBD.  That stands for Offensive Strategic Body Defense and it is taught by martial arts expert John Maynard.

"It's definitely a lot more realistic than what they teach you in basic law enforcement academy training," one officer told us.

"It upsets me.  I've seen bad things happen.  I don't want it to happen again," Maynard said about why he started the class.

The goal is to make sure an officer doesn't lose his or her weapon and is protected from others at all times.  Everything taught falls under a department's standard operating procedures.

"We want to de-escalate a tense situation as quickly as possible.  The goal is to get behind the potential offender and get them under control physically.  Maynard says these are techniques that allow any officer, male or female, to manage someone larger than them.

Maynard says this doesn't work for every situation and the response changes dramatically when an offender comes at an officer with any type of weapon.

We checked with Charlotte Mecklenburg Police about their self-defense training.

Spokesperson told us, "During the CMPD Recruit Training school, each recruit receives roughly 70 hours of Subject Control training. This consists of a wide variety of skills from handcuffing, to personal weapon strikes, to ground defense techniques.  Once the recruit graduates, he/she will receive a varying amount of subject control training depending on the training needs of the department.  This in-service training involves a large variety of skills to include TASER, subject control, and use of force decision making skills.  We do not see a need to contract with any outside groups for this type of subject control training."

To hear what John Maynard thinks of the challenges police officers have today versus what they faced even ten years ago, watch the exclusive web extra video on this page.  Maynard believes the popularity of Mixed Martial Arts fighting has something to do with it.

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