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CTS Less Lethal Instructor Course

Written by Bobby Inman

The North Alabama Law Enforcement Training Center, in conjunction with Combined Tactical Systems (CTS), recently hosted a four day Less Lethal Instructor Course. Ten officers from the University of North Alabama Police Department, Helena PD, Tallassee PD, Huntsville PD, Albany, GA Drug Task Force, and Albertville PD attended the course.

The first topic addressed by the instructor, Sergeant Kip Cole of the Hoover Alabama Police Department, was safety issues. Dealing with chemical sprays, fired munitions and flash bangs can be dangerous if handled improperly.

Dividing the course into three sections, Cole provided each student with a written test and practical examination at the conclusion of each section. At the end of the course, each student received an instructor certification. Don Pearce, Law Enforcement Director for CTS, made it clear that this is a hands-on course. The course sections were chemical munitions (hand-held and fired), distraction devices (flash bangs), and fired munitions (bean bags, wood batons, rubber batons, sting calls).

Chemical Munitions

We started out with Chemical Munitions. The history of chemical weapons was discussed. The Chinese were the first to use a form of chemical restraint. They would use dried pepper in rice paper and then set it on fire. They would also put ground pepper in a hollow tube and either throw or blow it into an opponent’s face.

We talked about the current chemical sprays on the market today, including the various CN, CS, OC and blended sprays. One thing many officers do not realize is how volatile CN can be. If a department had any old CN chemicals, it is best to get rid of it. The CN degrades the seals of the container.

After finishing with the chemical sprays, we moved into the fired and the thrown chemical munitions. With the hand thrown CN, CS, OC and blended grenades, the emphasis was to get the chemicals in the eyes, nose and mouth area, to get the desired effect. Then it was on to the 37mm and 40mm chemical munitions. Cole had one each student fire both the CTS 40mm Revolving Pump Launcher and the single shot 37mm launcher.

The 40mm launcher utilized was a single shot model. You breach it open like a shotgun, place the munition inside and then close. The launcher had front and rear sights to help with aiming. Safety off, aim with the sights, and slowly press the trigger. Recoil is non-existent with the munition rounds. The 37mm rounds can also be fired in this 40mm launcher.

The 37mm launcher was a revolving pump action deployment system. Break open the launcher, insert six rounds of munitions and then close. You aim via the mentioned sighting system. You fire a munition round and then pump the action, which brings the next round in line for firing. The 37mm Launcher utilizes a Double Action Trigger System.

Since this is a hands-on and instructor class, all had to take an exposure to the chemicals. After this, you will throw several of the inert gas grenades. The inert gas grenades contain smoke so you can see how a real unit will disperse its product.

At the range, we deployed the smoke filled munitions. The hand-thrown units were first. Most of the units were cylinder shaped or grenade shaped canisters. Each unit had an arming spoon and pull ring. All were deployed the same way. First, you grasp the unit in your hand, with the arming spoon against the palm of your hand.

You turn the pull pin ¼ turn clockwise to disarm the safety and then you pull it straight out. Be sure to check the area you are going to throw the unit in before you deploy it. After doing this, it is best to deploy by using an underhand toss and about 1.5 seconds later, you have the desired effect.

To deploy the unit with your support hand, the unit is held upside down with the arming spoon still in the palm of your hand. You then deploy the same way.

Impact Munitions

The second day started with the various and wide variety of impact munitions. For the most part, if there is a hand thrown model, there is a 37/40mm munition. We talked about the area of the body that impact munitions should be deployed. The legs and buttock area are the best aiming point for bean bags. We watched several videos showing the delivery of the impact munitions.

The munitions are broken down into two categories, flexible and non-flexible. The flexible rounds are the 12 gauge and 37mm bean bags. The new CTS bean bags are made of a tubular material doubled over and tied into a sock 2½ inches in length, ½ inch in diameter with a cloth tail to stabilized them in flight.

Pump shotguns are the best suited for use with bean bags since the rounds will not cycle the action in a semi-automatic shotgun. So they have to be hand racked. CTS strongly suggests that a “clearly marked” shotgun be designated as a Less-Lethal bean bag launcher. Speedfeed, Inc, for example, makes several bright color forearms and buttstocks for shotguns that are marked “Less Lethal.”

Non-flexible rounds were next on the agenda. The most commonly seen are the rubber baton, Sting Ball, and Wood Baton. These munitions can be hand-thrown or launched out of the 37/40mm launchers. The launched non-flexible rounds are usually fired into the ground and bounced onto the subject.

A good rule of thumb on an aiming point is to fire the round approximately half way from you to the target. However, you have to be mindful of the contact surface. Are you shooting into concrete, dirt or grass? You may not get the desired bounce that you need from grass that you would get from concrete. If this is the case, you may have to take aim at the target itself, usually at the buttocks or legs.

Flash Bangs

Next, we discussed flash bangs, a grenade shaped device that produces a bright light and loud sound that disorients and distracts a subject. Most times, a flash bang is thrown into a dwelling to disorient those inside, where a tactical team can make entry. CTS Flash Bangs produces six to eight million candelas and 175 db. This usually takes someone around 20 to 30 seconds to recover from exposure.

To deploy, hold the flash bang in your hand, with the arming spoon against the palm of your hand. You turn the pull pin ¼ turn clockwise to disarm the safety and then you pull it straight out. Be sure to check the area you are going to throw the flash bang in before you deploy it.

The final test was given and everyone passed. We headed to the range for our practical exercises. At the range, the UNA police officers staged an entry into the shoot house utilizing flash bangs. After the demonstration, each participant deployed flash bangs in each hand to complete the training. For the rest of the afternoon, students threw and fired the various CTS products. At the end of the day, certificates were awarded to 10 new Combined Tactical Systems (CTS) Less Lethal Instructors.

Sgt. Bobby V. Inman is currently Deputy Director of the North Alabama Law Enforcement Training Center. This article is dedicated to Brandon Lassiter, Covington County, AL Sheriff's Department.

Published in Law and Order, Aug 2005

Rating : 5.0


Comments

Comment on This Article

Training Officer Osceola County Corrections Dept FL

By J.F Perez

Great article Sgt.

Submitted Aug 25 at 11:02 AM

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