A Georgia police department is rethinking policing by requiring officers to undergo martial arts training in an effort to reduce injuries during arrests.
Marietta officers are learning Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which uses grappling tactics, like body leverage moves and submission holds, not punches or strikes.
The department is so sure of the benefits of BJJ in reducing force levels, it's paying for its officers' lessons and their time to train.
"You're talking about a lot more confidence in these officers, and it's only because they understand how I'm going to respond if this subject acts a certain way," said Marietta Police Sgt. Ray Figueroa. "If he starts to resist, I know what I need to do to take this person into custody safely, without injuring myself or injuring that suspect."
Marietta believes other departments that adopted BJJ training could see benefits of fewer use-of-force complaints from citizens and fewer officer injuries leading to workers' compensation claims.
Hear more about Marietta's results, and get the opinion of a longtime Valley officer on this kind of training tonight on ABC15 News at 10.