Re: Control and Restraint
Rupert, It depends on the jurisdiction. In the United States each state (usually) runs it's own training commission and academy and there are differences between departments. So what may be the practice in New Orleans might not be somewhere else. I work as an officer in a county jail in Washington State. In my agency blows and strikes are not used unless an incident has escalated to what is called Level 3 Defensive Tactics. For ex sample this could be where the suspect (in my case inmate) is attacking the officer(s) seriously enough to possibly cause injury. I can only recall a few such incidents in 17 years as an officer.
Interestingly in my department the use of Pepper spray is authorized before the use of Level 2 Defensive Tactics which consist of aikido based counter joint techniques among other things. Level 2 would be an actively resisting inmate. And yes Mark we have pepper sprayed old men upon occasion when it was warranted. Although criminal behavior drops significantly after about age 50 it does not stop completely in some people.
And Roosevelt's comment is sadly correct. It is a lot cheaper to buy a taser then invest in years of training for officers in aikido or something similar. It has been my experience when money get tight the training budget goes first.
Camille: Your idea is a nice gesture but I would be surprised if many officers took advantage of it. My previous instructor offered a"free" aikido class for staff at a local prison. We never had more than 3 or 4 students and most of them where administrative types not line staff. Most Law Enforcement Officers will train only when they are paid to.
Sean's comments pretty much sum up the New Orleans incident itself. I recalled in my Corrections Ethic Instructors class that New Orleans had the reputation as the most corrupt Police Department in the country at one time. They have worked very hard to change that. It is sad that this incident should reflect so badly on an entire department that is sincerely trying to better itself.