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Battlefield New York City

Aug 17, 2007
It is not easy to be emergency services anywhere, but in New York City it takes a special breed.

In the past few months, lone police officers have had to deal with shootouts, stabbings, riots, and unruly protesters. While events like these are all in the line of duty in New York City, they shockingly routine.

What should never be part of the routine though is the deaths of police officers. On the evening of March 15, 2007, the city lost two of its bravest in a hale of gunfire.

That night they proved they had courage, but lacked training.

Buried with full honors, the greatest tribute to their courage can be improved close combat training.

Nobody is exactly sure what David Garvin's motivation was for the brutal shooting that started the killing spree, but it is clear he was ready for a fight. He was carrying two semiautomatic firearms and over one hundred rounds of ammunition.

Unfortunately auxiliary officers Nicholas Todd Pekearo, 28, and Eugene Marshalik, 19, who were first to respond, were only armed with radios. When they ordered Garvin to drop his bag he complied, but then realized they were unarmed and took off.

The officers gave chase, but Garvin turned on them and shot Marshalik in the back of the head and shot Pekearo repeatedly after diving behind a car for cover. Armed police officers arrived quickly and engaged Garvin who died trying to make a stand in a store. As with any in the line of duty deaths questions are raised about what could have been done to prevent such a tragedy.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly spoke well of the fallen officers and promised he would reexamine the training for auxiliary officers. While many view close combat training only useful for military personnel, many of the tactics were indeed developed for law enforcement activities.

Even in medieval Japan, the samurai who practiced Jujutsu spent much of their time performing law enforcement duties. They understood not every situation could be settled with swords when dealing with a hostile population, and Jujutsu was effective even against an armored opponent.

Another great contributor to police close combat training was William E. Fairbairn. A British police officer in the Shanghai Municipal Police (SMP), Fairbairn worked his way up from patrolmen to commissioner during the city's most violent period.

Having fought in over six-hundred street fights and receiving his black belt in Judo at the Kodokan, Fairbairn went on to write the close combat classic Defendu to help police officers. Meant for self-defense it concentrated on disarming and restraining opponents, but allowed for lethal force when necessary.

The New York City police department has to adapt its auxiliary program or events like what happened March 15, 2007 will inevitably happen again.

Garvin had already killed one unarmed man by the time he encountered the officers, so in his mind the only option left was to fight. If the auxiliary officers had been taught even the most basic of close combat methods they could have overtaken the killer when they first confronted the criminal.

The 4,500 brave men and women that serve as auxiliary police officers in New York City deserve better then to be cut down in the street. Regardless of whether police personnel are volunteer or paid they must be given the same training because they share the danger.
About the Author
For more information on Chris "Lt. X" Pizzo former soldier, cancer survivor, mercenary, barroom bouncer, educator, and hand-to-hand combat instructor, and his incredible FREE Accelerated Battlefield Combatives close-combat learning system, visit http://www.TopSecretTraining.com
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