September 3, 2019

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Train Like You Fight

Gordon Graham
Category: Law Enforcement

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for law enforcement.

The threat is real, but your response depends on your level of preparation.  

Today’s Tip is directed to all law enforcement personnel and it is about taking training seriously. I know what you are saying: “Hey Gordon, I train all the time! What are you going to tell me that I haven’t already heard?” Probably nothing! In fact, I’m confident you heard about this in the academy. Heck, you heard it on the street during field training. Yet, in the past three years, over 150 police officers have been feloniously killed.  

Complacency in training can kill. Officers are behind the curve during these attacks. Reaction time is not your friend. The sympathetic nervous center rallies in your defense but not without a cost. You have heard it before. Tunnel vision, increased heart rate, rapid breathing. The body takes over, and you are along for the ride. The threat is real, but your response depends on your level of preparation.   

You revert to what you know. Whether the use of a firearm, empty hand techniques, or even calls for backup. None of those efforts produce results without training. And not all training will prepare you. Intensive and realistic scenario-based training helps condition both the mind and the body.  

I’ve heard it 100 times. Heck, I’ve heard it 1000 times. The old cliché. You play like you practice. How do you train? Do you go through the motions during the required training? Do you challenge your comfort level? What about firearms training? Do you simply stand there and engage targets at the 5, 10, and 25-yard lines? How about defense tactics? Did you become proficient in the academy? Sure, we all did. What about after 5, 10, or 20 years? Mental conditioning, physical fitness, and preparation are key components of an effective response.  

I remember watching videos of convicted cop killers being interviewed from a “lessons learned” standpoint. Some said they killed the officer because they knew they could. They sized up the officer and attacked a perceived weakness.  

You must train to fight, and you must train to win. Play like you practice. Go home after every shift.  

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Until next time, Gordon Graham signing off. 

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