Tactical Training For Women in Law Enforcement

Tactical Training For Women in Law Enforcement

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It's real life training, for real life situations.

Women from different law enforcement agencies across our area coming together in a special college course, to turn their weaknesses into strengths.

Amy Foster is the instructor.

"For women we are able to capitalize on techniques to bring out where we are strong, our core, our hips and it's less dependent on upper body strength for techniques. I'm the same size they are and so when they see me do a technique, they know they can do a technique," said Foster, owner of Female Advanced Tactical Training.

Moves like the choke hold and taking a gun from a bad guy are common in their line of work. But a class of all women in law enforcement, being taught by a woman is rare, and it's something these students find beneficial.

"Back up may not always be close by. Your gun may not always work. So they provide a good foundation of some of the techniques we can use and we have stronger hips than most men, and the techniques uses some of the things that we are stronger at to take down stronger men," said Bray, who has been a deputy for 6 years with the Escambia Sheriff's office.

Differences lie not only in tactics, but also the daily grind of the job.

"I see that the males always want to be in the front, the males always want to be first, the males always want to be in the front line, and maybe they don't trust the females as much or just their ego that they are going to go ahead and get the bad guy before you do, and they are going to go in and they are going to secure the building before you have that opportunity. I believe that the women are comparable in this agency. I believe that's why we are here," said Melissa Sterling, a deputy the Escambia County Sheriff's office for 12 years.

Other than the size of the hand being a bit smaller, the art of shooting is the same for both men and women. Their instructor Dorcia Meador is bringing them back to the basics.

"A lot of it is just explaining things a little bit different. Making them feel comfortable to be able to ask those questions that they are not able to ask in fear they would be embarrassed in front of the guys," said Meador, owner of Precision Pistol Training.

"Sometimes is works to our benefit. You will go to certain calls and the person there maybe just wants to speak to a female. Maybe they can relate better. I think whatever position you are in you have to relate whether male or female," said Kellie Saleh, a reserve officer, Panama City Beach Police Department.

For these women, it's a program that targets their abilities in order to help level the playing field in a male dominated line of work.

Now normally you will find training courses like this one in bigger cities, but due to budget cuts at many local law enforcement agencies, Columbia Southern University says there was a need for a program like this in our area, and that's why it was created.

The defensive tactics training course is offered about 4 times a year. For more information about the program visit: Columbiasouthern.edu/events

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