Every year, 150 police officers are killed in the line of duty in the United States, and every day 150 officers are assaulted. As a result, most officers wish they could get more use-of-force training. But the cost of training, either in video format or in-person, can prove daunting.
Until now. An organization started in 2002 helps bring tactical information and skills to officers who want it. The Police Officers Safety Association (POSA), a non-profit charitable [501(c )(3)] corporation, provides free use-of-force training to any officer in the country.
For the first two years of its existence, the POSA provided in-person training through seminars in New England and produced full-length video programs on DVD, which it sent to the force trainer at every law enforcement agency in several New England states. In 2005, the POSA partnered with a video-services company to make these video programs available by download again, for free. All you have to do is verify your law enforcement status though PoliceOne.com, and you can download all the POSA programs at no cost. If you prefer physical DVDs, you can order them using a form on the POSA Web site for $5 each to cover the duplication, packaging and mailing costs.
Current full-length (approximately one hour) programs include "Tactical Knife Skills," "Disarming & Retention," "Close Quarters Shooting," and "Force-on-Force Simulation Instructor," the last a cooperative effort with the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors and Armorers Association. The POSA produces two full-length programs a year and a two-minute video tip on a tactical law enforcement subject every month. Scheduled full-length programs for 2006 include "Snub Revolver Tips," "Tactical Handcuffing" and "Shotgun Skills."
According to Ralph Mroz, the POSA's training director, "We bring our experience in attending and teaching classes all over the country for the last 15 years and condense and hone it specifically for the working law enforcement officer." Mroz says the POSA's video programs address the two main shortcomings often found in government and for-profit training programs: unrealistic agency training, and nonsuccinct private training. "Too often, for liability reasons and to avoid any risk at all of injury in training, much use-of-force training has been watered down," Mroz says. "Officers know this but are at a loss as to where to turn for training that is truly relevant to them. Martial arts schools and commercial shooting schools offer programs that are useful to a greater or lesser degree, but they are geared towards the general public, and not the tactical, legal and duty-bound environment in which police officers must work. POSA training, by contrast, is notable for its realism and direct relevance."
Mroz also says POSA programs are succinct. "Commercial entities must, by necessity, charge fees for their training. This requirement often encourages the lengthening of these programs to justify a larger tuition. POSA programs are under no such constraint, and thus are direct and information-dense, and contain no repetition or filler."
Finally, Mroz says POSA training remains nondogmatic, usually presenting every legitimate way to perform a technique or execute a tactic, and exploring the pros and cons of each.
To download POSA programs, go to www. posai.org/pubsDL.html. This page will prompt you to verify your free PoliceOne.com membership by signing in to Police One.com. (PoliceOne.com membership is limited to verifiable law enforcement officers. If you're not yet a member, you'll see a link allowing you to sign up.) Once you've signed in, PoliceOne.com will automatically return you to the POSA's download page.
POSA is funded entirely by contributions from citizens and corporations.