Liberty Co. Sheriff’s Office Host “Officer Survival Skills” Class

LIBERTY, November 16, 2015 - One of Sheriff Bobby Rader’s primary objective when he was elected was to raise the law enforcement educational level of the Sheriff’s Office by making available various training classes that would both benefit the personnel of the agency as well as the public of which the agency serves. This has been an on-going process with almost all of the additional training be provided through funding by court awarded confiscated drug monies which in the end, did not cost the tax payer a single penny. Fast forward to this week when Training Coordinator Linda Longoria joined forces with Mr. C. Kevin Durio of the Urban Defense Training ( UDT ) organization to conduct an “Officer Survival Skills” hands-on class for the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office. There are two, two day classes with a total of 16 hours for both days on either class. The class was open to not only the Sheriff’s Deputies but outside agencies as well of which the Cleveland and Dayton Police Departments sent Officers. The class will graduate approximately 51 law enforcement personnel when the weeks classes are completed.

Instructor Kevin Durio has quite an impressive background. He is the founder of UDT which is an organization completely dedicated to the total health and safety of the men and women of the police, military and fire services. He is a former paramedic for Grand Prairie EMS/Fire as well as an instructor/examiner for UT Southwestern Medical School where he taught Dallas Firefighters in EMS. Durio has 40 years in Martial Arts and boxing and is a former full contact kickboxing champion as well as a competition Glock shooter. He brings all these qualities and talents as well as others to bear when he shows Officers how to defend themselves in a close body confrontation with someone who may be attempting to evade arrest or to attack an Officer in an effort to escape.

Sheriff Rader has high praise for the additional safety training for his Deputies and Officers from the other agencies when he said, (quote) “…. We have been very lucky that LCSO has not had any “Officer involved shootings”. When I took office the LCSO firearms proficiency was low and it was necessary to start having more firearms training. This was done so that everyone would become more familiar with the weapon that they carry. The range Officers created several different courses to shoot. This increased training has raised both the proficiency and confidence of the deputies. I was taking a course called “Reach and Treat” which involved helping a deputy that was hurt. During a break I was asked by the instructor how many Officer involved shootings there had been since I was elected. “None” was my answer. His next question got my attention. He asked, “How many hands on arrest do your deputies make?”. My response was that we make them every day. He then asked me how much training we have had on “hands on” arrest. LCSO has regular firearms training but only two classes had been offered dealing with the “hands on” arrests. I thought this class was so important that I opened the class up to the local Police Departments and all the Liberty County Constables offices. I want all the local law enforcement agencies to be better trained to handle the criminals that resist arrest. I do not want to ever hear that a law enforcement Officer was hurt because they did not have proper training.” (end quote)

Cleveland Police Officer Lauren Trevino said that this type class gives her another tool to use in a confrontation and more knowledge and skill to protect herself and others. Fellow Cleveland Police Officer Erica Fleming, a two year veteran, echoed the same type satisfaction with the course when she said it will make her more aware of the atmosphere surrounding an arrest and safer methods to use to protect herself, her partner and the public.

Sgt. John Coleman, speaking on behalf of student Dayton Police Officer Joseph Myers said that such training will give his Officers a secondary type of defensive tactics rather than forcing an Officer to resort to a more lethal alternative in affecting an arrest. And in many close body confrontations, his Officers should have a better chance of remaining safe and in control of the arrest process with less physical harm to anyone.

There are few professions where employees must put on a protective vest, a side arm and know how to defend themselves each and every day and night that they walk out of their homes to go to work. Law enforcement is one of those professions where injury and/or even death is a common daily possibility that must be considered and it is important to have all the knowledge, equipment and training possible to assure that Officers and Deputies defending the public by that “thin blue line” return to their own families safely after each tour of duty.

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