But that’s what happened at the end of their visit to Naval Support Activity Bethesda’s (NSAB) Police Department, where the junior cadets were shown how law enforcement trains to takedown a subject correctly and without seriously injuring them.
Several of the 27 middle school students from James Madison Middle School and Oxon Hill Middle School lined up to hit Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Brandon Fruge (who was wearing a red protective suit) with Master-at-Arms First Class Jonathan Cales instructing them on the correct ways to take down a suspect.
“It’s not to get [into] a one-on-one fight with someone,” Cales said. “In the law enforcement community strength comes in numbers. There’s no such thing as a fair fight. If someone walks up to my post at the gate and they hit me in the face, my first thing is not to hit them back. I’m going to create distance and I’m going to get to my baton, get back to my (pepper spray), get back to my tool belt.”
Cpl. John Brown of the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office said the students meet two to three times a week in their Cadet Positive Deputies Assisting Youth Program where they learn about law enforcement, conflict resolution and ways to keep safe.
“Middle school is a crucial time; it’s where they are trying to find themselves,” Brown said.
He said the cadets are exposed to various occupations in law enforcement and that was what brought them to visit NSAB Dec. 21.
NSAB Commanding Officer Capt. Marvin L. Jones welcomed the students and asked them whether they knew what happened on the installation.
Responses from the students were: helping wounded warriors, command safety, training people to be in the Navy, keeping the country safe and training to fight in war.
“Primarily at Naval Support Activity Bethesda, our mission is to provide a place where people can heal, where the educators and providers can practice their skill set and those who come to visit can feel comfortable,” Jones said.
He said security forces is a job that a lot of people don’t really notice every day.
“It’s one of those thankless jobs,” he said.
Master-at-Arms First Class Colleen Dibble coaxed the students to tell her what they learn in their program and gave them information about staying safe online, how to prevent bullying and alcohol safety.
“How many want to be a police officer?” she asked, to which several of the students raised their hands.
Then she went over some of the various security careers in the Navy and showed them a video of her going through oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray training.
After seeing the video and watching Cales demonstrate some of the hits with the training baton, the students were eager to try out some of the techniques demonstrated. That’s when the students lined up to hit Fruge, who took each of the hits in stride.