Area law enforcement agencies learn defensive tactics

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- To keep communities safe, law enforcement officers need to know how to handle conflict.

Saint Mary's Police Chief Derek Cid said officers are taught to only use their weapon as a last resort. That's why he puts his agency through defensive tactic training.

Officers often face danger as they protect the community and uphold the law.

Cid said, "We deal with a lot of complex issues."

While no two situations are the same, defensive tactics can teach officers a variety of ways to handle physical conflict without unholstering their weapon.

"We want to use other things, hands on which is what they're practicing. We gotta make sure that we're doing our best to keep everyone involved safe," Cid said.

Sydney Owings is a part-time officer with the Saint George Police Department.

She said, "This is something that I've always wanted to do and size doesn't really matter."

Owings said learning these defensive tactics helps her feel more confident when doing her job.

"My safety, that's what it all comes down to," she said, "Defensive tactics, hopefully you never have to use it, but you want to have it just in case."

Cid said the techniques are used when someone is resisting arrest or harming another person.

"As police we can always adjust our techniques and the things we're doing to serve the community, which is a priority, to keep both sides safe and not just the officers," he said.

Members from the Saint Mary's Police Department, Saint George Police Department and Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Office attended Wednesday's training.