LOGAN TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WTAJ) — When police have to get physical with a suspect, it can turn deadly, fast. That’s why a local police department is learning how to use their body as a weapon, instead of gun.
At PA Grappling in Altoona, officers from Logan Township Police Department are going beyond their basic training and learning Brazilian jiu jitsu.
“We’re trying to assess the situation and develop game plans that are gonna work best for them,” Allen Coble, owner of PA Grappling, said.
In a physical altercation with a suspect, their goal is to apprehend them without hurting anyone and keep control of the situation.
“It very evident nowadays that police officers need as much training as possible to do their job properly,” Coble said.
Logan Township Patrolman Shea Stayer said what he’s learning from Coble is different than his skills from the academy.
“It’s another step further to apprehend them quicker, safer and more effectively,” he said.
He added that knowing these new take down tactics is essential for police officers everywhere.
“Generally, you always wanna use the most less-lethal force you can, and not always resort to a taser, or potentially a deadly weapon, is something that we want to be able to use as a tool in our tool belt,” stayer said.
Even though he won’t need to use these skills every day, Stayer said knowing the best way to handle a dangerous and physical problem helps him better protect his community.
“We don’t want them to be in the public or put anybody else at risk, so it’s our job and our duty to get them safely into custody and out of the public’s way,” he said.