Sunday, April 09, 2006

Texas State Police Drop Dangerous Contact Drills

I saw this in today's Washington Times.

"DALLAS -- Texas will no longer require that state police recruits endure a dangerous and violent exercise during training sessions -- a practice that resulted in the death of a 29-year-old last May.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced last week that on the advice of consultants, the drill known as 'active countermeasures' would no longer be used.
The consultants told DPS the drill should be dropped because it caused too many head injuries and 'did not involve realistic police scenarios.'
The drill had been a part of recruits' training for more than 30 years. It was a full-contact fighting session in which opponents were often mismatched -- occasionally women were paired with men or smaller recruits fought much larger opponents.
The drill was suspended in May after recruit Jimmy Ray Carty Jr. died after being repeatedly hit in the head.
An academy trainer had matched Mr. Carty with a recruit who had dominated Mr. Carty in previous wrestling drills. According to investigative reports, two supervisors asked Lt. Erwin Ballarta to match Mr. Carty's opponent with a stronger opponent, but the trainer refused.
Within minutes, Mr. Carty had been knocked down twice by blows to the head, then a punch behind the ear rendered him unconscious. Mr. Carty died a week later.
DPS officials had clung to the drill since the 1970s, claiming that its men and women often patrolled alone and needed to know how to subdue a suspect one-on-one.
Department records show that since 1978, 121 recruits have suffered concussions. That year, a female trainee suffered a near-fatal brain injury from the drill, and in 1988, a male recruit nearly died as a result of the questionable exercise."

While tragic, the article doesn't address whether the cadets had the training to handle what they were asked to do. Did that type of training save lives on the street? It doesn't seem that they were properly supervised. Any opinions or better information?

No comments: