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by Retha Colclasure
Thursday, October 25, 2012
reprinted from NBC-KFYR.
click here for video

Assaults on police officers are on the rise across the country and police officers aren`t going to sit back and take it. The wind chills were in the teens today, not necessarily a great day to be outside. But police officers can`t pick the conditions they fight in. So outside they went.

This was a bad day to pick a fight, but these officers did it on purpose.

“They`re not ever going to fight on the mats. They`re going to fight in the real world. They`re going to fight on the pavement, on the grass, in small rooms, apartments, buildings, bars, out in the elements, the rain, snow, heat, cold,” said Rob Magao with Lock Up Police Combat.

So those are exactly the conditions they`re training in.

“I`m freezing cold right now,” said Matt Peschong with the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

He says he`s never had any training like this before.

“Not feeling the fingers, your speech gets slow, everything gets a little delayed so it`s a little harder to get used to grabbing on to people and hanging on tight, so you don`t have the same feeling you normally do.”

These instructors travel the country teaching officers how to fight down and dirty.

“Now, especially with the popularity of mixed martial arts and ground fighting, a lot of people out there are training in ways to take you to the ground and subdue you there. A lot of officers don`t have training in that area,” Magao said.

Peschong has never had to fight in conditions like this, but wants to be ready if and when it happens.

“Pretty realistic, especially with the conditions in North Dakota. We could find ourselves in this type of position at any time.”

These instructors say that`s why it`s not just about officer safety, it`s officer survival.

The week-long course is challenging and intense, but officers in the course say now they feel more prepared for their job. They also say this training will make them better officers in the future.

Click here to view a video about the story.

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