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Defensive Knife Training: Learning How to Use a Knife Teaches Officers What They're Up Against

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 28 Issue: 3 Dated: March 2001 Pages: 16-19
Keith W. Strandberg
Date Published
March 2001
4 pages
This article discusses the training of law enforcement officers in how to use a knife to give them a better understanding of what can happen and what to do when confronted with someone with a knife.
With current gun laws reducing the availability of guns on the street, as well as stricter penalties involving handguns, the weapon of choice, for criminals, is becoming edged weapons or knives. Knives are easily accessible allowing more criminals to carry them. With the change in weapons, law enforcement officers need to know what to do and how to handle a knife attack. Police officers need to learn how to use a knife so that if they go against a suspect who has a knife, they have a feel for how that person will attack and they will know how to defend. Training officers to fight with a knife allows them to understand what knives can do, how they are used, and assists in reducing the fear of knives. This article looks at the increased demand for knife-based defensive tactics training and the actual hands on training as illustrated through the Weare, New Hampshire Police Department’s defensive tactics training program. The threat of knives has become increasingly real. Most knives are small, easily concealed, and easy to pull out. The only way to learn how to defend against a knife attack is with hands on training that includes realistic drills and exercises. Hands-on training begins with knife defense tactics including, cutting movement patterns and body evasive techniques. The training makes the officers more aware and efficient reducing the realistic fear of knife attacks. It is suggested that the training be offered on a continual basis. Defensive knife training is seen as imperative for law enforcement officers to reduce their risk against an edged weapon with an increasing presence on the street.


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