CLEVELAND, Ohio — Eight Cleveland
police cadets were hurt last month during a hand-to-hand combat training
exercise at the Ohio State Highway Patrol's police academy in Columbus,
Six of the cadets -- four men and two women --
went to a hospital for treatment. One cadet dislocated a shoulder and
five cadets suffered concussions, said Cleveland Police Det. Steve
Loomis, who was president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's
Association when the incident occurred Dec. 12.
One recruit remained at the hospital because of a previous injury but
was released less than a week later. The other five recruits were
treated and released, Ohio State Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Robert
Two other recruits suffered concussions during the training but were not taken to the hospital, Loomis said.
of the cadets who were injured ended up graduating a week later,
Sellers said. Two are on light duty with Cleveland police because of the
injuries, Loomis said.
The training academy has not seen six
cadets from the same class hospitalized at any other time in recent
memory, Sellers said. The injuries rekindled an issue Cleveland's police
union has had with the city dismantling its own police academy. The
city has been sending recruits to Columbus in the wake of a U.S. Justice
Department investigation that found new police officers were not being
Cadets have been trained at the state patrol's academy since December 2015.
six cadets were injured during a training exercise in which recruits
fight off a training officer who attacks them. The exercise is called
high-intensity training or dynamic training, Sellers said.
exercise combines the totality of what the cadets learned at the
academy, including de-escalation techniques, how to protect your gun and
how to deal with an attacking suspect, Sellers said.
It ends with hand-to-hand combat.
instructor will shout out instructions to the cadets during the fight,
Sellers said. A doctor and a medic are on standby in case someone gets
A new crew of medical professionals overseeing their
first training exercise may have been overly cautious when they sent the
six Cleveland recruits to the hospital, Sellers said.
occur during the exercise, but the training academy takes an abundance
of caution, Sellers said. Loomis -- a constant critic of the state
patrol's academy and a proponent of bringing back the city's police
academy -- disputed that, alleging that too many cadets were injured.
Loomis said the cadets told him that the harder they fought against the instructor, the more the instructor ramped up the fight.
"It was nothing less than a hazing in my opinion," Loomis said. "If this was a college training, it would be hazing."
exercise is supervised by instructors with training approved by both
the patrol and the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy, Sellers said.
Sellers invited police union representatives to watch the training if they have any concerns.
academy is open to them anytime they want to come down and view the
training of their cadets," Sellers said. "No one ever comes."
state patrol also released the mandatory survey that cadets must fill
out after the high-intensity training exercise. The majority of the 43
cadets who responded enjoyed or liked the training exercise. One cadet
called it "rockin' awesome."
But several others gave suggestions.
Two cadets said more instruction was needed during the exercise, and
another said the instructor fought harder against some cadets than
others. Two cadets said some protective gear should be used during the
"There's no reason to hurt them in these scenarios,"
Loomis said. "It's supposed to be instruction on techniques. It should
be a teaching tool, not some guy coming up and fighting you."
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