By Connor Linskey
The Town of Montgomery Police Department has adopted a trial defense tactics training course as part of Executive Order 203, requiring each local government in the state to accept a policing reform plan.
“When police officers graduate from the police academy there is not much more training that is received in terms of defensive tactics which is something our Executive Order 203 steering committee found troubling,” said Montgomery Town Supervisor Brian Maher. “Our goal through this unique municipal training program is to give our police officers the tools and training they need to avoid injury to themselves and also to limit future opportunities where an officer may use excessive force.”
The trial program is offered to all Town of Montgomery Police Officers beginning this month. During this time, the course will run for 90 days and two 90-minute classes will be offered per week. After the trial program ends, the town will evaluate the results and potentially create a year-round program offered to Town of Montgomery Police Officers in an attempt to maximize the training opportunity.
The program was created by Anthony Vetro, owner and operator of Fat Cat Jiu Jitsu in the Village of Walden. Officers will learn a mix of Brazilian and Japanese Jiu-Jitsu. A demonstration was conducted at Fat Cat Jiu Jitsu on Thursday, in which police officers from other agencies showed exercises such as rolls and takedowns.
Stephen Ragni, Town of Montgomery Police Department Administrative Officer, is excited that the program is under way.
“[Jiu-Jitsu] reduces injury to officers, reduces injury to suspects and creates less liability to the town as well,” he said. “Hopefully it encourages the officers to expand their horizons and continue on with training.”