Officer Safety Training

Case:  A Scottish police service had a training requirement to carry out Officer Safety Training for a team of Custody Support Officers whose roles would be to deal with the needs of alleged offenders who are brought into custody in the police station.

Who engaged Dynamis:

A training partner of Dynamis, with whom we had worked on a number of projects involving physical intervention and self-defence training, was approached by the police service for Officer Safety Training.   Our partner was aware that we could tailor a course based on a set of scenario-specific goals and organised for us to engage with the team.

Our initial analysis:

This team would require training in a very specific set of personal protection skills which would be moulded by the environmental and contextual demands of their role:

  • Clients (persons in custody) experiencing high levels of stress
  • Verbal Abuse and Difficult Behaviour during and perhaps post-arrest
  • Confined spaces in custody areas, including furniture and equipment
  • Close proximity with the subjects, for example during alcohol breath testing
  • The risks of restraint-related sudden deaths in custody and excited delirium

Training Delivery:

This Officer Safety Training was designed as a blend of theoretical and practical sessions.  We introduced and reviewed the key issues of law in regard to custodial settings, the key risks focussing in particular on the levels of violence, alcohol and drug factors, and sudden in-custody death.   We then presented a series of exercises and drills which built on behavioural realities in the midst of violent physical interactions, such as the Startle Reflex, the inbuilt Attack Pattern and the Proxemics/Positioning in the custody scenario.

The mental modelling, attack pattern analysis and defensive gesture components of this training relied heavily on our Functional Edge training system, which is taught to all our instructors on our annual Officer Safety Trainer certification course.


The police service Custody Support Officer team was delighted with the results of our course, providing their team with relevant and appropriate skills and knowledge in a short timeframe, tailored specifically for their job-role and their task environment.

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