I found this conversation with Lieutenant Kevin Dillon (ret) about police combatives training super interesting. Kevin served for 25 years as a police officer, SWAT team member, and detective commander before moving on to become a full time trainer for police departments so he speaks from authority on this topic!
In this episode we talk about his closest calls on the street, how police departments train their officers to fight, degrees of force and escalation in combatives, how to talk somebody down, strategies and tactics that anyone can employ to keep themselves safe, and much more.
It’ll help you get into the mind of a cop’s head and understand what he’s thinking about when he’s pulling you over for a speeding ticket, as well as use police ‘tricks’ to verbally de-escalate a potentially violent situation.
In fact I think the verbal de-escalation portions of this interview are incredibly useful; unfortunately this is an often overlooked area among martial artists who spend an inordinate amount of time practising their punches, kicks, chokes and locks to win a fight without ever thinking about how to avoid that fight in the first place!
Regardless of whether you’re a LEO (law enforcement officer) or a civilian I think you’ll find this useful!
Here is a rough timeline of what Kevin and I talked about on the podcast if you want to skip ahead…00:50 – His scariest incident as a cop04:28 – Training for real life10:38 – How much combatives training do cops get and how much do they really need?20:55 – Degrees of force and the force continuum24:37 – Verbal de-escalation32:21 – Stress and divorce rates among police officers36:01 – On Killing, by Dave Grossman39:05 – Violent video games and new technology52:05 – Improving communication skills56:04 – Are new police recruits too untested?66:35 – Strategy vs tactics
The best way to listen to this podcast is to go to your favourite podcasting platform, subscribe to ‘The Strenuous Life’ Podcast (*ahem* that’s my podcast) and then look for episode 121. You can find it on most podcast platforms, including…
You can also listen to my conversation with Kevin on the embedded player below, but if you’re not subscribed on your favorite podcast player then you’ll likely miss all future episodes of this podcast (and you wouldn’t want to do that!!).
PLUS NPR Radio Interview with Lt. Kevin Dillon