Taking Lessons From German Officers

Monday, April 7th 2008, 11:34 pm
By: News On 6

German police visit Green Country.  Two officers from Dusseldorf, who are in Broken Arrow, aren't investigating a crime.  News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports instead, they're taking part in an exchange program that is expected to make both cities safer.

Members of Broken Arrow's SWAT team are learning how to fight off knife wielding attackers.  And, they're learning from some of the best.

"In Germany this is one of the top problems with criminals.  Everyone is wearing a knife there," said German Police Officer Norbert Tannert.

Two members of the police force SWAT team in Dusseldorf, Germany are in Broken Arrow for a week as part of an exchange program.  They're sharing ideas and information.

"In Germany, it's illegal for the majority of citizens to own a gun, so they have a lot of issues with knives and knife attacks on individuals, so they have a knife defense program that they use that we thought would be very valuable to our officers here," said Broken Arrow Police Captain Heath Arning.

Broken Arrow Police Captain Heath Arning says within only half an hour, the training had already paid off.  Broken Arrow officers will also share insight that might help German police, especially concerning gun crimes.

"We'll see what these guys are doing here and we'll show what we're doing and everybody gets benefit from that," said German Police Officer Norbert Tannert.

The exchange program got its start last summer, when Broken Arrow's Police chief was at a seminar in Germany.  Officers from the departments kept in contact with each other, and it led to the exchange program.

It's hoped the relationship and training lead to less dangerous conditions for officers in Germany and Oklahoma and safer communities as well.

"We'll never work hand in hand on an operation, but their training experience on what they have there, may change the way we handle things here and likewise for them," said Broken Arrow Captain Heath Arning.

"Nobody's perfect and you can learn from everybody.  So I'm definitely sure that we'll learn some things," said German Police Officer Norbert Tannert.

Members of Broken Arrow's SWAT team will travel to Dusseldorf, Germany in September to get more training.  They'll also compete in a four-day international SWAT competition.

Find more stories on NewsOn6.com's Local News page.