Nineteen years ago I attended the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training in Oklahoma City. Employed by the city of Tonkawa as their first female police officer, I was anxious to attend my basic police academy. It had only been a year since I had completed basic combat and Military Police training with the US Army. Many of the things I learned at Fort McClelland, Alabama were similar to the training I was receiving in Oklahoma City for the Tonkawa Police Department.
One huge difference though as explained by our defensive tactics instructor, Vince O'Neill, was the verbiage used when trying to get control of a non-compliant subject. The Army had taught me to say, "kill" or occasionally, "die." Instructor O'Neill was not real crazy about my constant use of these commands I screamed while I struck the large, red pads with my expandable baton.
My defensive tactics training partner was a tall, very fit, muscular, black guy with an incredibly infectious smile and an outrageous personality. He was attending CLEET while employed by the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office.
On one particular day of training, while my training partner held the pad that I was striking with the baton, I screamed, "Die" just as our instructor passed by. Instructor O'Neill stopped my partner and I. He put his hands and each of our shoulders and reminded us again that we had to train as we would fight. We had to say, "Stop resisting," not "die."
"I'm not going to say that," I said after the instructor walked away. When my partner asked why I told him it sounded like a cheer, not a command. He laughed at me and then did his best "gay guy" impression by striking a pose like a cheerleader. With a dynamic lisp that I was certain he had used many times previously he started chanting, "Stop resisting, stop-stop resisting." He clapped his hands wildly in front of his face and off to either side of his body. He swung his long arms around carelessly and threw his hips off to one side and then the other as his full lips pursed together in a large pout. A slender index finger pointed straight at my face when he said, "Stop resisting," then he flashed me a perfect, white-toothed smile. It was that smile that sealed our friendship.