Headland Police Engage in Close Combat

Headland, Al. (WSFA) -- Headland police spent the morning engaged in close combat.

They weren't fighting with criminals, they were fighting each other.

The department held a self defense seminar, teaching officers how to disarm and handle suspects that become violent.

Headland chief of police Mark Jones wants his officers to have the edge.

He says holding seminars like this allow his officers to better handle suspects who pose a threat.

"It gives them a hands on deal, instead of going straight to deadly force. It gives them another option a less than lethal option with out having to use deadly force," said Jones.

Their teacher was Dave Shelto, a grandmaster for the international matsumura seito socity.

Shelton is a 10th degree black belt, and has studied this style for over 43 years.

Shelton says it's more than self protection, he says the training gives them another weapon in their arsenal.

"Thier is knocked to the gun, knocked out of their hands. They're going to have to start relying on their hands and close combat self defense to defend themselves," said Shelton.

Shelton taught officers how to gain control over an attacker by using simple moves to subdue them and how to block attacks with a weapons.

So it's a training course like this that provides officers an added benefit when they're out patroling the streets.

"This is helpful, very helpful. This would probably help save some peoples lives," said Mike Davis a retired officer."

"Well you know everyone wants to come home safely at the end of a days work in law enforcement and this is another tool they can use," says Jones.

Chief Jones has been using lessons learned from Shelton for almost 4 years.

Headland police were also joined by an officer from the Abbeville police department.

Reporter: Daniel Curtis