Daytona Beach Shores police receive martial arts training to help reduce use-of-force injuries

DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, Fla. — One central Florida police department is turning to martial arts to reduce injuries to its officers and the public when things get physical.


Police body camera video from Marietta Georgia shows an officer using Brazilian jujitsu to quickly take a man down to the ground and cuff him.

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Marietta police say it’s reduced injuries to officers 48 percent and suspects 53 percent and decreased the use of tasers by 23 percent since training its officers in b-j-j.

It’s the same outcome Daytona Beach Shores Public Safety wants.

Have you heard MPD made Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) mandatory for all new hires? Here is a small clip from a recent training session at the gym. For agencies wanting more details about why we did this and how we made it happen, please read the full article written by Major King and Training Sergeant Culpepper here: http://mariettaga.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=2541 City of Marietta, Ga., Government Marietta Daily Journal AJC Humberto Borges

Posted by Marietta, Georgia Police Department on Tuesday, October 15, 2019

It’s training its officers in the martial art, which focuses on using ones hands to apply the least amount of force to neutralize an opponent.

“Jujitsu is not relying on anything other than the officer and the technique,” Captain Michael Fowler with Daytona Beach Shores Public Safety said.

Fowler says officers train regularly with their guns even though they rarely use them.

“We put our hands on people all the time,” Fowler said. “We have people that resist us all the time, and there is very little physical training required as far as that goes.”

Fowler says they feel like the jujitsu program can help correct that.

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The department is training all its recruits at least twice a week in b-j-j and the department will pay for the training to continue once they graduate the academy.

Officer Enrique Rosario says he and another officer used the techniques they learned through this class a few months ago to subdue a man who hit an EMT.

“We did a takedown we learned in jujitsu and took him to the ground and took the situation from a 10 back to a 2,” Officer Rosario said.

Randy nelson is Bethune Cookman University’s criminal justice chair and a former parole officer. He commends police for the program, but says more focus and training should be placed on making sure interactions between the police and public never get physical in the first place.

“One of the things you’ll see in the law enforcement academy, the hours dedicated to communication and those things isn’t as robust as it needs to be,” Nelson said.

Nelson says the number of hours at the academy dedicated to communication skills has not changed much since he graduated in 1987.

“You have to commend them for wanting to get better and trying something,” Nelson said. “But also you need to get better in the social interaction and de-escalation.”

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Daytona Beach Shores wants to see the program expand to other departments across the state if it is successful.

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