COBB COUNTY, Ga. - Police officers in one metro city are getting special training to learn how to control suspects without using their guns.
Channel 2 Action News got an inside look at Marietta police officers learning Brazilian jiujitsu techniques. Officers are taught to use grappling skills to control suspects.
"We are teaching our officers the gentle art of controlling people," Maj. Jake King said.
"This is a tool that's actually going to help them use their weight against them and actually be able to apprehend somebody and put them in control on the ground without using strength," said Sgt. Clay Culpepper.
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The training is now mandatory. All Marietta officers must spend at least five months taking the Brazilian jiujitsu courses.
Gold and silver Pan-American Games medalist and black belt Humberto Borges trains the officers at his facility in Cobb County.
"It's really important for the officers to know first to know how to defend themselves on the street," said Borges. "It's a big step for Marietta Police Department."
Sgt. Josh Liedke, who is a defensive tactics' instructor with the department, says the public sees the benefits.
"You're not seeing officers using foul language, losing control. You're not seeing hands flying all over the place. Anytime we're involved in an incident, you're seeing complete control. Everybody's calm, relaxed," he said.
That helps keep the officers and the suspects safe.
"The public really expects a lot out of its law enforcement officers and one of them is to have the ability to control people and maybe not use the weapons that are on our belt," King said.
Trainers told Channel 2 this is not like other forms of martial arts where it takes years to become proficient. Officers said they can quickly apply what they learn in class today to their next shift.
"You can't even put a value on these classes," Liedke said.
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