Local gym hosts LPD officer training

Lt. Marshall Belling observes as Lockport Police officers train to put a suspect in custody without risking injury to themselves or the person being arrested. (Benjamin Joe / staff)

Inside T&K Martial Arts Center on Tuesday morning, Lt. Marshall Belling underwent training in an arrest technique with other officers of Lockport Police Department. Now more than ever, Belling said, it's important to have the training.

LPD had been trying to get its officers into T&K for about a year, having scheduled the training before the coronavirus pandemic arrived in the region.

“We’re trying to get the whole department on the same page when it comes to safely and effectively taking subjects into custody with as little risk to them and us,” Belling said.

Originally, interest in the T&K came through Lockport Police Officer Wade Boyer, whose children all took classes at the gym owned by Kayla Snell and where Tom Hillman teaches. Once the pandemic arrived, Hillman and Snell continued to offer Lockport officers a place to build up their “muscle memory” using martial arts and jujitsu techniques, which can keep officers safe and not resorting to “pain compliance.”

Belling said he’d like to see no-pain compliance training offered twice a year, noting that's the frequency of officers' firearms proficiency training.

“This has been a long time coming in terms of getting everyone on the right page,” Belling said. “We’re using the same terms and using the same moves. We’re really trying to target areas that are staying away from the head, neck and spine.”

Separately, Hillman suggested more training is better.

“The more you do it, the easier it is,” he said. “You’re not trying to figure out what to do, you know what to do."

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