LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Cadets in Lawton Police Department's academy are learning what it takes to stay safe on the streets from hand-to-hand combat to disarming a suspect.
"Sometimes you get a mouthy partner, and it gives you a chance to see what it's really going to be like," Cadet Amelia Gorshing said.
The eight cadets are learning how to defend themselves against possible attackers.
"It's a lot of hard work, but it's worth it," Gorshing said. "It will pay off. We're learning how to save ourselves and our partners if needed."
One of their defense tactics instructors, Caption Ron Seratte said most of the cadets don't have any experience in boxing or MMA. So the instructors go over everything, including the basics, like how to handcuff a suspect.
He said smaller groups like these are great when it comes to teaching them defense tactics.
"They do a little better with a smaller group, cause we can have more individual instruction so they're all doing fine," Seratte said.
The cadets are a little over halfway through the academy and Seratte said they can't go on patrol with every new officer so what they're learning now is very important.
"We want to have them prepared, mentally and physically through this hopefully enough to be able to do what they're supposed to as a police officer," Seratte said.
And even though this is one of the most grueling parts of the academy, Gorshing said they need to know how to take care of themselves once they're on their own.
"There's always the possibility of not going to go home to your family, and they're teaching you how to make sure that happens and it's probably one of the most important things to know," Gorshing said.
Next week they'll learn how to use batons and pepper spray. Everything they learn goes into their next phase.