Jan 20, 2015

Detention deputies get survival training

Park County detention officers recently took to the floor of the county’s district courtroom — and other places — to learn safety and survival skills.

Detention Deputy Denise Kolacny practices defensive techniques during a bladed weapon attack. Photo courtesy Park County Sheriff’s Office
Sheriff’s detention deputies received three days of training from TAC*ONE Consultants of Denver

on how to mitigate threats and survive confrontations. The training included hand-to-hand defensive techniques, use of firearms in combat situations and techniques for retaining control of inmates.

To enhance the realism, some scenarios were held at the Park County Courthouse since transporting inmates to and from the building — and guarding them once inside the courtrooms — are normal parts of deputies’ jobs.

One scenario involved deputies tussling with a courtroom assailant in front of the district court bench.

Each scenario was designed to mirror situations that deputies could face at any moment.

Sgt. Jona Harris is attacked by a spectator (portrayed by TAC*ONE instructor) in the district courtroom while Deputy Karla Turner rushes to intervene. Photo courtesy Park County Sheriff’s Office
“It has been demonstrated that when faced with a high-stress, unfamiliar situation, deputies will instinctively revert to their training,” Detention Lt. Tod Larson stated in a news release. “It is many times the quality of that training that determines the deputy’s chances for survival.”

During another portion of the training, deputies had to demonstrate proficiency with their firearm while under stress, reading and reacting to different situations. The instruction also included techniques for safely handling combative prisoners and bystanders.

Larson said training the entire detention staff at one time promotes team-building and helps ensure each deputy has the same training and philosophical approach to emergency situations.

Patrol deputies from the agency received similar training from TAC*ONE Consulting last August. The firm’s instructors include former law enforcement and special weapons and tactics (SWAT) operators certified in multiple areas.

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