Subject Control Niches
Special Environments With Special Requirements
Certain environments can create specialized subject control niches for the officers involved. This can be especially true for dynamic entry teams, Coast Guard and Fisheries Officers boarding teams and others whose work and environment are unique. The problem is that most trainers will only teach them the same old 'standard fare' Use of Force stuff that they teach to everyone and then leave it up to the individual to make it work in their workplace.
Sorry! That, to me, is just not good enough. Hell it's just not even right. If a dynamic entry team member has to pistol whip or butt stroke someone in order to reach their target while minimizing injuries or prevent the loss of life, I have no problem with that.
But.. if the only real reason they had to do so is that no-one ever taught them one-handed controls and takedowns (since putting down their firearm is not an option), now I have a problem with it.
I take the same issue with training for boarding team officers whose training failed to take into account the environment they must work in. There is a whole world of difference in an indoor training room with stable, matted floors and the exposed, often slippery, perpetually moving deck of a strange vessel with numerous other hazards on deck and a mistake taking you overboard!
I believe that officers in these and other specialized areas do an incredible job. I just also believe that they'd be a lot safer and happier doing it if their training actually addressed their special needs instead of leaving them to "wing it when you're out there". This is aside from the fact that tying up your weapon on someone you've assessed as more of an impediment than a risk can increase the risks to yourself and your team members from the primary threat(s).
A lack of effective subject control options training also increases an officers 'weapon dependancy' and, consequently, the likelihood of a shooting outcome. Everyone talks about finding ways to reduce the possibility or need for lethal use of force applicatons. Now let's be honest! It all remains only lip service until departments are willing to go the extra mile in seeking and investing in the specialized solutions to their specialized subject control niches. This is true for dynamic entry teams, Coast Guard and Fisheries Officers boarding teams and all others whose work and environment are unique.