Terre Haute, IN - If you're in a dangerous situation, you know that a call to 911 can send police officers to help. But in order to protect the public, they need to know how to protect themselves. That's why the Terre Haute Police Department conducts routine tactical training.
Terre Haute police officer David Brewer provides safety for a living. But on this day, he's a "bad guy" equipped with a padded red suit and a mean right hook. Friend and fellow officer, Sgt. Denzil Lewis is tasked with neutralizing that threat.
They're taught to first diffuse the situation verbally. "You want to try to calm that person down. You let them know it's not the end of the world, you know, it doesn't have to go this way," said Lewis.
But talking doesn't always do the trick, and they need to know how to protect themselves. "Everybody's scared of something, correct? I don't like getting hit, but if I know I'm in a situation where I got to fight for my life, expect to get hit," said Brewer.
"We really don't make the decision to use physical force. The person we're going up against makes that decision. They control the situation," said Lewis.
As an outsider, it's easy to assume you wouldn't jump to physical force if you were the one wearing the badge.
In the middle of physical chaos, they find success in striking a balance under stress. "That's the point, is when does it become excessive? What's necessary force, and what's excessive. Excessive is too much. Necessary force is enough to get him to comply," said Brewer.
The Terre Haute Police Department will work on tactical training throughout the rest of the week. Next up on the training schedule will be active shooter, and emergency driving training.