Chief Wynn and the Pittsfield Police Department recently made an agreement with ZenQuest to kick off the program. The training includes positioning, escape and restraint strategies from Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. The idea is to reduce risks in such situations for both officers and the people that they restrain when the need arises.
At the time of this newsletter there has already been an instance where one of the officers has used some of the strategies covered in the first two weeks of the LEJJ classes to safely neutralize a subject’s aggression and restrain them until additional officers arrived at the scene.
For years Chief Wynn and other officers would have discussions with Senseis Connie and Mark about the benefits of Jiu-jitsu training for Law Enforcement Officers. After training for some time, it was obvious to them that Jiu-jitsu training is tremendously beneficial to anyone whose job requires them to engage with people physically at times. Aside from being better equipped with strategies to safely deal with physical aggression, this training gives officers the ability to ‘scramble’ or move intelligently and maintain control of chaotic situations. Being able to control these situations better also tends to reduce stress levels for officers, which makes them calmer and less likely to wind up in escalated confrontations.
Getting a program like this started was difficult in the past due to general skepticism and the resulting lack of funding. However, in recent years several Law Enforcement agencies have had great success with similar programs. There is now documented proof that this training helps to reduce injuries for both officers and the people that they have to engage with. There is also proof that it actually reduces the need for officers to use the tools on their belts such as a baton, pepper spray, taser or firearm.
At present one class per week is specifically for officer training, and the participants are encouraged to attend additional classes at ZenQuest. A second class is already being considered with the success of the program so far, and new developments in funding. Thanks to all of the officers for their interest, and special thanks to Chief Wynn for his part in launching the LEJJ program.