By: WANE Staff Reports

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne’s police chief confirmed two officers were hospitalized after training on Monday. As a result, the use of a neck restraint technique was suspended.

The department on Wednesday issued a general order temporarily suspending the use of the Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint as an approved defensive tactics technique. In an internal order from Assistant Chief Karl Niblick obtained by WANE 15, the department said use of the technique should be suspended “UNLESS deadly force conditions are present.”

The department said Friday Captain Tom Bandor went though the training Monday and returned to work Tuesday. Feeling ill around lunchtime, he was taken to the hospital.

Another officer was taken directly from the training to the hospital. He was later released. Police did not identify that officer.

“We do not know if either officer was actually injured by the technique,” Captain Shane Lee said. “We can certainly make a correlation between the [unnamed] officer because he experienced some kind of medical event during the training and then was transported. Captain Bandor, on the other hand, was almost 24 hours after and made no complaints during the training day that he was having medical issues at that time.”

The Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint was introduced to the department’s training regimine in October 2014. Described as a “control measure,” the technique is similar to a choke hold or head lock where the officer wraps his or her arm around the suspect’s neck and, with the elbow under the chin, clasps his or her hands together to force a submission.

“The strength of the technique is that it is less injurious than a traditional strike, and historically a low probability of injury to the offender AND officer,” the department said in Wednesday’s release. “The technique is utilized to quickly, safely and efficiently take offenders into custody.”

With two officers having suffered injury, the technique has now been pulled from the Fort Wayne Police Department’s training methods.

The department said Wednesday it would continue to “strive in making public safety, as well as officer safety, a priority. Understanding that both defensive tactics training and real world application of force have a certain level of risk attached, we will continue to strive to mitigate any unnecessary risk to the public or our officers.”

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