By: Julie Montanaro
October 22, 2013
Midway, FL - Claims of excessive force have swirled around the DUI arrest of a Tallahasee woman since dashcam video was released last month. This week hundreds of officers have come to our area to learn more about tactics and takedowns. We were invited to watch from the edge of the mat.
"He is my bad guy. He's going to reach straight for my belt as soon as he reaches...Reach... I'm simply going to hollow out." Fletch Fuller is showing officers and deputies what to do should someone reach for their gun.
Fletch Fuller, Instructor: "We want to make sure we're engraining stuff that's realistic."
More than 250 men and women from Florida, Georgia and Alabama are here honing their defensive tactics at the Florida Public Safety Institute in Midway. Instructors want them to be ready should they need to use these moves in real life crises.
Sgt. Brian Ronk, Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office: "You're really making decisions in fractions of a second, then if you don't get the response you need then you do something else hopefully and you continue on like that until you win."
SWAT Team member Garry Schettini says he's encountering more and more resistance from suspects on the street.
Cpl. Garry Shettni, Palm Beach SWAT Team: "You're seeing it on a regular basis now where more officers are actually being assaulted by whoever they're dealing with."
"... Left, turn, touch, move..."
These are instructors who will then take what they've learned back to their departments and train other officers in use of force.
Steven Jimerfield, Instructor and retired Alaska Trooper: "We are simply trying to control him and place him as reasonably as possible in the restraints and transport him. Our goal is not to hurt people, it's to control them."
The instructors conference is in its fifth year and will last the rest of the week.