They train hard, they fight tough, and they love it. This is the feeling you get at the end of a day spent alongside the fighters from the Special Action Service of Constanta County Police Inspectorate.
The day starts first thing in the morning with a hard run designed to increase the fighters’ stamina and toughen their resistance to abrupt and extended physical strain. Often this workout is carried out with all the equipment and gear they would wear if they were in a real live situation. The day continues with further physical training in the gym, where a short warm-up session prepares them for yet more strenuous, strength-building workouts. Highly rated among these are cardio exercises, notably boxing, used not only for the cardio workout but to sharpen self-defense skills, as one fighter explains: „it teaches you to hit very well, hard, accurate, fast, combined with a good physical condition and high-level endurance.”
The training continues focusing on more technical aspects, such as boxing bag kicking, dodging, pirouettes. A short break is for changing the equipment in preparation for the martial arts training kicks and immobilizations techniques, aiming for a high complexity of the exercises, putting heavy emphasis on arms and legs. The fighters must be well trained in defending themselves against all weaponry a criminal may possess. Because knives are the most common weapons, the fighters must be able to expediently neutralize the criminal who attempts such an attack.
Once the physical training is completed, they start the tactical training. This is done in a special place that offers both the space needed for exercises involving vehicles and a replica of a house to achieve specific CQB techniques.
The first operation is conducted as if the officers are acting on intel about a suspect in the house, but without any other details to go on; not knowing whether the perpetrator is or is not armed, or if he is under the influence of alcohol or other substances and what is his hiding position inside the house. For the training to be as close to the real situation encountered in the field, one officer will be armed with a knife and act out the role of aggressor.
Leaving their car and on approach to the house, the officers organize themselves in an intervention squad, the fighters taking cover behind a shield. „The team enters the house and combs, crawls, while taking the necessary security measures, until the suspect is found, immobilized, handcuffed, and given to the officers in charge of the missions,” said one of the policemen briefly describing the exercise. Field demonstrations transform what appears to be a simple mission into a fast and flawless series of actions which tremendous attention to details, thus showing that the fighters practice these scenarios on regular basis and that each fighter knows what to do and his role in the team. With silent hand signs as the sole mean of communication, the whole house is checked, rooms are cleared and the offender who attempts to attack the police is rapidly immobilized and disarmed.
The second drill follows in full force, this time held outside, recreating an interception in traffic. With one officer playing the offender’s role, the exercise is based on the scenario of the one person in the car, but the same rules apply if more people are involved. The suspect vehicle is blocked and the team approaches in formation, always paying maximum attention to the movements of the suspect, to ensure the safety of the policemen. The suspect is extracted from the car, restrained, handcuffed and searched.
In the third exercise, the scenario is the same, but the SAS team is joined by the K9 unit, a German Shepherd dog named Nun. The dogs are used in general when the policemen are going after dangerous criminals, to prevent any attacks against the law enforcement unit members. No matter how aggressive the person is, they quench fast enough in front of a trained police dog, reducing the risks the fighters are exposed to.
Constanta Special Action Service has the following attributions:
- Executes, independently or not, interventions and time limited police action, in areas and environments with high crime rate or criminal potential to prevent and combat violence offenses;
- Participates in strengthening the security measures in communities with high criminality rates;
- Intervenes in areas and neighborhoods where serious crimes were committed (kidnappings, murders, armed attacks, escapes), completing the initial steps of the municipal police;
- Participates, alongside other police forces, in police raids and hold-ups.