Pioneer of scenario-based police training products dies

Guido Tanzini, 85, of Trenton, N.J. founded Dummies Unlimited

By Police1 Staff

WALNUT, Calif. — A pioneer of scenario-based police training products died before the holidays, Police1 learned Monday.

The long life of Trenton, N.J., native Guido J. Tanzini — he was 85 when he passed — included a stint in the US Army before he began developing the first baton training dummy in 1957, according to a tribute. Featuring human-like attributes, Numb John could endure thousands of baton strikes.

After some fine-tuning over the next decades as batons became more sophisticated and the less-lethal market expanded, Numb John began to resemble the model it is today, with a vinyl coating and a tougher exterior. Most agencies use it as a static training dummy for real baton strikes, incorporating other scenarios with Fist or Red Man suits and a practice baton.

Guido J. Tanzini (left) and Numb John (right).
Guido J. Tanzini (left) and Numb John (right).

Tanzini was actively involved in the law enforcement community and attended IACP annually over a 35-year stretch, until travel became difficult, according to son Phil Tanzini, Director of Operations at his father's company Dummies Unlimited Inc.

"He lived a full life at 85, and did not suffer much," Phil Tanzini said. "He'll be missed."

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