Exclusive: New training techniques for Newark police

May 13, 2011 6:21:44 AM PDT
Eyewitness News goes inside a training session for Newark police officers.

They're learning new techniques to deal with suspects.

Techniques cops hope will end a confrontation before things get out of hand.

This comes after a series of questionable incidents where officers were accused of excessive force.

The gun in the training session isn't real, but the life and death situations Newark Police officers face are.

Eyewitness News got up close, so you could get an exclusive look at new training techniques brought on in part by two recent confrontations on the street.

First, in March of 2010, Eyewitness News aired video of a 15-year-old boy being beaten by an officer.

His lip was punctured, and his hair was torn out in clumps.

Then, a month later, Officer Wayne Pugh was seen pulling a man from his car and kicking him when he resisted arrest.

He's been cleared of any wrongdoing that night.

But, what he's learning now, he wished he knew then.

"Would the technique have made a big difference? Yes, it would have changed the whole night," Officer Pugh said.

Detective Juan Gonzalez shows Eyewitness News the technique he could have used, and there are so many more.

Four detectives flew out to Los Angeles to train with LAPD's arrest and control team.

They learned pain compliance techniques.

There is pain involved, but that's the idea, using a criminal's own body to end a confrontation before it gets out of hand.

Detective Johnny Faulkner shows Eyewitness News what happens to someone who grabs for his gun.

"I jump on him and go for the gun, but almost get my arm broken," Eyewitness News reporter Phil Lipof explained.

They train to take away guns and knives, but most importantly, they train to stay alive.

"We don't have a referee, our life depends on this," Detective Faulkner said.

Do you have something to add to this story? Click here to contact Eyewitness News.