The Texas Department of Public Safety will no longer use a violent training drill that killed a recruit, reports the Dallas Morning News. Officials made the disclosure yesterday as the officer’s widow filed a lawsuit alleging that the department’s negligence led to his death last year. Christy Carty, the widow of Jimmy Ray Carty Jr., said “they made the right choice” to drop the drill.
Ms. Carty had urged the state to abandon the full-contact fighting drill, called active countermeasures, used at its Austin academy for years. The agency’s own consultants agreed, saying the drill caused too many head injuries and did not simulate the real-life dangers that troopers face. The state had used the exercise for at least 30 years, arguing its troopers, who often patrol in remote areas without partners, must show they can fight off a suspect. Some veteran troopers said the training had saved their lives. The training came at a high cost: 121 recruits had suffered concussions since 1978, the year a female recruit sustained a near-fatal brain injury. In 1988, a recruit almost died after being punched in the head. Last year, an academy trainer matched Carty against another trainee who had dominated him in a wrestling drill. Two supervisors asked the lieutenant to match the opponent against a different recruit. The trainee knocked Carty down at least twice with blows to the head before hitting him behind the right ear in the third round. Carty, a former sheriff’s deputy, collapsed. He died a week later.