October 21, 2019
CONTACT: Officer Chuck McPhilamy
MARIETTA - It has been a long-time goal of the MPD to fulfill our duty to subdue individuals who are resisting arrest using the least amount of force possible. Two years ago, we allocated funds and required all of our officers complete a full week of Crisis Intervention Training (CIT). One principle of CIT is to teach officers verbal skills to deescalate the person in crisis, therefore minimizing the amount of force required. The next step in our ongoing process is to transition to less of the long acceptable hard-hand (strike/punch) training techniques into more Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) grappling skills.
For years MPD has followed the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) standard requirements related to defensive tactics training. While cadets are in the academy, they receive one week of focused hands-on defensive tactics training, including a wide range of disciplines. This training curriculum is then refreshed annually for all peace officers.
On Friday, September 27th, seven cadets from MPD graduated the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC). This graduating class is unique, in that they are the first group from MPD required to receive comprehensive BJJ training before, during and after their time in the academy. Each new cadet is now required to attend a minimum of one BJJ training session per week until the time they achieve solo status on the road. For the average new hire this will mean approximately five months of regular BJJ training by local BJJ certified trainers. We believe this training to be a perfect fit for law enforcement as it is based on less striking and more grappling. While this does not replace the existing training methods, it will give our officers additional options they can use when possible.
The new officers stated they were more prepared for their academy training, developed more self-confidence, and have the necessary training to apprehend resistant suspects. Several have indicated they plan to continue ongoing BJJ training even after the requirement period ends. The cost associated with this new program has been minimal. This style of controlling a suspect greatly reduces the risk of injury to both the suspect and the officer.
We remain committed to our goal of using the least amount of force necessary in every situation. Depending on the circumstances, officers must be aggressive when necessary, but never abusive. This investment in our officers training, both in time and money, is the next step as we continue to seek new ways to accomplish our goal.