In 1985 the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office implemented an in-house, defensive tactics training programs. The program was designed to insure annual defensive tactics instruction for all deputies and to provide annual re-certification for the instructors. The program is still active today and utilizes the most modern theories, materials, and techniques, which exceeds all standards required by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.


Instructors are selected on their physical skills, their knowledge of current case laws governing the use of force techniques and for their ability to instruct others. Areas covered in training are: the legal aspects of when force can be used, including the legal aspects of escalation of force, instruction of physical tactics including unarmed defensive tactics, impact weapons, low-lethal firearms, weapon retention, pepper spray usage and the application of the carotid restraint.


Use of force classes are taught at new employee orientation, annual Advanced Deputy Training, Citizen's Academies, to our Explorers, to our Reserve Deputy Sheriff's and when requested, to other law enforcement agencies.