Training of Police Officers
Defensive Tactics training covers the use of physical force in the field of law enforcement. This provides instruction and practice for the use of verbalization, escalation and de-escalation techniques, the use of batons, deployment of oleoresin-capsicum (pepper spray), handcuffing techniques, prisoner and suspect searches, self-defense, handgun retention skills and a variety of other tools available to the police. Defensive Tactics instruction also provides officers with policy and procedure education as well as recent updates from the field of law enforcement and the study of physical confrontations between assailants and police officers. Officer Dan Donohue provides 16 hours of defensive tactics training every year for each Western New England University Police Officer.
Every Western New England University police officer receives standardized medical training required by law. This includes Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training as dictated by the American Heart Association. Officers also receive an initial 24 hours of First Responder training, which is supplemented by an additional 8 hours of refresher training each year. Medical training is provided by one of the department's officers who is a certified CPR and First Responder Instructor. The CPR instruction also includes the use of the Automated Emergency Defibrillator (AED).
Each Western New England University Police Officer must must pass the 40-hour Tactical Pistol Course at the Smith & Wesson Academy. Firearms Qualifications are conducted on a quarterly basis. Officers must maintain and demonstrate their proficiency with a firearm four times a year. Tactical firearms training is also performed routinely. Police Officers train in different environments in all types of weather conditions. Tactical situations are designed to invoke firing under stress and involve movement drills, verbal commands, the use of cover and concealment, low light situations, target identification and multiple officer techniques. As with all firearms training, safety is of paramount concern.
Sgt. Michael Holhut and Off. James Trasatti are Firearms Instructors, certified by the Smith & Wesson Academy and the Massachusetts Municipal Police Training Committee. Sgt. Holhut and Off. Trasatti work diligently to make firearms training safe and realistic while focusing on recent trends in the field of law enforcement. Data from around the country is analyzed and used to shape the firearms training and the scenario based force-on-force instruction that the Police Officers receive.