Madison police officers to be trained in new technique to take down suspect as a team

All Madison Police Department officers are being trained in a new tactic to take down a violent, resisting suspect.

In the last three years, Madison’s use of force coordinator Sgt. Kimba Tieu has been analyzing the department’s use of force incidents. He found that the techniques officers have been using include higher levels of force to get control of the suspect, which end up creating an increased chance of injury to both the suspect and the officer.

“We’re working off of trained technique, what the state told us to do, but we didn’t work it effectively,” said Tieu, as he demonstrated the department’s previous technique to a group of officers.

Tieu said the statewide defense and arrest tactics manual trains Wisconsin officers to work as individuals.

Trainers demonstrated that even if both officers have the same goal of taking a suspect down to the ground, without communication, they can end up pulling the suspect in different directions.

If that doesn’t work, they’re trained to try to strike the suspect, leading to more possibility of injury.

Instead, the new technique, taught to Madison police by St. Paul, Minnesota officers, trains officers to work together.

“It’s not rocket science but it’s just specific techniques that aren’t part of the state-mandated curriculum. And I think the biggest component is encouraging our officers and giving them the tools to act as a team when we have the luxury of having multiple officers,” interim Chief Vic Wahl said.

NOW: @madisonpolice is training officers in a new technique. The state teaches them to work as an individual but with this new tactic officers work as a team to take down a suspect by targeting their upper and lower body. Details on #news3now at 6. pic.twitter.com/2rXXCRN25D

— Amanda Quintana (@AmandaQTV) December 3, 2019

While the first officer positions themself behind the suspect, grabbing their upper body, the second officer grabs the suspects’ legs to take them to the ground. The officers then maneuver the suspect’s arms to flip them onto their chest and handcuff them behind their back.

“It’s not a replacement for the state defense and arrest tactic system, it’s a supplement to it,” Wahl said.

When an officer is on their own, they would still use the statewide tactics.

This new tactic would not be used on someone with a weapon. In that instance, a higher level of force would be used.

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