Police officers in Irving, Mansfield, and Fort Worth are being taught the art of Judo with the help of the U.S. Olympic Judo Team. Experts created the program to help give officers alternatives when they are out in the field, ultimately reducing the use of deadly force.
The U.S. Olympic Judo Team is based in Colorado and includes six teachers who have worked with Ultimate Fighters, such as Ronda Rousey and Kayla Harrison, per the AP.
The program is called P3, which stands for “Police Professional Plan.” Officers have been learning the program at the Eastside Dojo in Plano, and so far, feedback from the officers appears to be positive.
“It’s all-new,” Fort Worth Sgt. Joshua Rodriguez told NBC DFW. “It’s pretty neat because it’s some of the stuff that we learned in the academy when we were in training but it takes it to a new concept.”
The program teaches officers other ways to use their bodies and hands instead of their firearms when in challenging situations. The focus is to use holds and one’s body leverage not to hit or kick.
“I think the more we train the more we’re able to make appropriate decisions under stress,” retired FBI agent turned judo instructor Joe Yungwirth shared with NBC. “I see it hopefully continuing on as a national trend. What I would like to see is more officers engaged in weekly training at local dojos or local judo schools on their own.”
The program is another tool officers can utilize in the field during these difficult times that have seen many officers under fire for their actions on the streets.
“The public wants police officers to be better trained,” Jim Bacon, an officer in Colorado, shared with the AP. “That’s why we’re trying to integrate judo, so we can be more effective in these situations without hurting the other person.”