In the wake of a use of force video that went viral two years ago, the Marietta Police Department out of Georgia was faced with an unfortunate truth. They realized that despite going above and beyond to sponsor some of their officers for tactics training, there was still a gap in the preparedness of the average officer on the force who may only receive one hour of jiu-jitsu training per year. Perception of the public continues to deteriorate to this day and there has been a major push by the Gracie University Team to get police officers more jiu-jitsu training over the past several months.
Two years ago, the department felt it might be prudent to take matters into their own hands. They began sponsoring police officers for off-duty jiu-jitsu training at a carefully vetted local jiu-jitsu school, and the results have been palpable. Over the course of the past two years, the department is reporting a 23% reduction in the use of tasers by the officers who have opted into the supplementary jiu-jitsu program, 48% decrease in officer injuries across the entire department, 53% reduction in civilian injures, and 59% overall decreased use of force by the BJJ trained officers. Even after factoring in the cost of the training, Marietta PD reported a net savings of $40,752 resulting from the drastic reduction in officer injuries and the corresponding reduction in Worker’s Compensation claims.
The data clearly supports that jiu-jitsu is a strong deterrent to officer injuries, civilian injuries, and department workers’ compensation costs, and it goes without saying that these improvements have had a positive impact on the department’s relationship with the public. It should speak to all BJJ instructors, school owners, and enthusiasts to lobby their local departments to seek out the most up-to-date and effective means to get their officers the training they need to keep themselves safe while properly protecting and serving the public.
Gracie University recently published the data provided by the department as evidence to support the inclusion of weekly jiu-jitsu into any police officer training protocol. They also include the interview from Marietta Police Officer, Major Jake King, as well as the logistics on how he was able to facilitate the partnership between his department and a civilian-owned jiu-jitsu school. Here is the data summary as listed on the Gracie University website. GRACIE UNIVERSITY
Marietta Police Department BJJ Program Data
To date, 95 of the 145 sworn MPD officers have opted in to the BJJ program and 50 officers have not. The officers who averaged at least (1) BJJ class per week, are referred to as “BJJ officers.” Here is a summary of the data collected thus far:
• MPD has had 95 officers attend over 2,600 civilian-operated BJJ classes with one (1) reported training injury.
• Since the inception of the program, non-BJJ officers used their Taser in 77% of Use of Force (UOF) incidents.
• BJJ officers used their Taser in 54% of UOF incidents (85% of which were used to stop a foot pursuit – not to end the physical altercation)
• 23% reduction in Taser deployments in the BJJ officer group.
UOF Injuries to Officers
• In the 18 months prior to instituting mandatory BJJ training, 29 officers were injured while carrying out arrests.
• In the 18 months after instituting mandatory BJJ training for new hires, 15 officers were injured while carrying out arrests.
• 48% reduction in officer injuries department wide.
• None of the injured officers were BJJ officers.
UOF Injuries to Suspects
• In 2020, there were 33 UOF incidents involving Marietta PD officers: 20 incidents involving non-BJJ officers, and 13 incidents involving BJJ officers.
• In the 20 incidents involving non-BJJ officers, the suspect sustained injuries requiring hospitalization 65% of the time (13 incidents of suspect hospitalization).
• In the 13 incidents involving BJJ officers, the suspect sustained injuries requiring hospitalization 31% of the time (4 incidents of suspect hospitalization).
• Serious injuries to a suspect are 53% less likely when interacting with BJJ officers.
• BJJ officers are 59% less likely to engage in UOF than non-BJJ officers.
• Based on an average workers’ comp claim of $4,768, the total estimated savings from the reduction in officers’ injuries is estimated at $66,752.
• Training Investment: $26,000 (2600 department-sponsored classes charged at $10 per class).
• Net Savings for MPD: $40,752
Check out the video below: