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Backyard Brawls on MCAS Yuma? Oh No Says PMO!

By Cpl. Bill Waterstreet | | March 26, 2013


            Marine and civilian police officers from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma’s Provost Marshal’s Office participated in fight dissolution training at Ramada Field, March 26.

            The training consisted of officers, both in pairs and by themselves, responding to mock fights played out by live role-playing participants. Officers then practiced responding to the developing situation just as they would the real deal, handcuffs and all.

            “This training evolution is about winning the fight,” said Staff Sgt. Steven Poelns, the training chief for PMO and a native of Laramie, Wyo. “We are putting our officers through scenarios where they may or may not have backup, and they are going to have to go hands on, whether it be after the deployment of OC spray, possibly using their nightstick, or just in a straight physical altercation.”

            Officers can face a plethora of crises every day, and this is the in-depth training they need to not only do their jobs, but also to ensure their safety.

            “This is a lot better than some of the other stuff we do, which is more static,” said Isaac Rosario, a civilian police officer and a native of Yonkers, N.Y. “This is getting the officers trained on real world scenarios and to think outside the box.”

            “The purpose behind it is to get them mentally prepared,” added Poelns. “The backup is not always going to be there. They have their tools-of-the-trade on their belt, and they need to learn how to employ them knowing they may not always need to use them. We knock the rust off by throwing different scenarios at (the officers). This helps them use their minds to think about how to gain the tactical advantage and win the fight.”

            Training evolutions like these keep officers vigilant and prepared for whatever challenges may arise. Anything can happen at any time.

             “These skills are used every day; you never know what you are going to roll into in this job,” said Poelns. “You could respond to a call where there is a verbal altercation and next thing you know they are throwing punches and you are right in the middle of it.”

            While training exists to better its participants, there certainly is no rule against enjoying the contest officers face while protecting and serving.

             “This is the stuff that I like to do,” said Rosario. “I like the tactical, hands-on stuff. This is my forte.”

            It’s not be for everyone, but these officers clearly have the intensity and professionalism required; they showed the heart they take in keeping the peace, even when it comes to getting their hands dirty.

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