ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) – The Eastern Missouri Police Academy saw a 50% drop in enrolling recruits in 2020 compared to 2021, a trend that academies across the country are facing.
The Lake St. Louis-based academy serves departments in several counties, including St. Charles County, St. Louis County, Warren County, and Jefferson County.
As of mid-April, the promotion of a dozen recruits is halfway through its training. As they move into the second half of the academy, much of the hands-on training intensifies.
“Personally, I’ve grown so much when I think back to my first week here running laps and doing push-ups,” said rookie Janie Grossmann. “My passion for it continues through it all.”
On Thursday, the rookies took part in batting training, learning everything from how to open and close the bat to proper batting technique.
“Using a baton to hit major muscle groups in the body will actually cause temporary pain and disorient them enough to be handcuffed,” the sergeant said. Mark Dennis of the Eastern Missouri Police Academy said.
According to Sgt. Dennis, the baton is generally considered a step above a clenched fist and below an officer’s service weapon. However, it can be used as a lethal force if the situation warrants it, he said.
“Especially being a woman, maybe I wouldn’t be able to take on a really strong man,” Grossmann said. “For me, using a baton is a tool to be able to control someone when I need to control them after my verbal commands don’t work.”
Recruits are taught to target only muscular areas of the body and to avoid the head, sternum, and other sensitive areas in non-lethal force situations.
“It’s always great to learn all the different ways we can deal with different situations using as little force as possible,” said rookie Garrett Burns.
sergeant. Dennis said batons are one of many options an officer can use if initial verbal de-escalation tactics prove unsuccessful. Most often, he said, they can be used in situations such as bar fights or domestic mishaps.
“As with anything on our belts, we need to know how to use it, we also need to know how to store and maintain it,” he said. “We don’t want the bad guy getting our batons where it escalates into a deadly force situation because we have no choice.”
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