Oklahoma Highway Patrol Undergoing De-Escalation Training

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is training troopers to use how to use the least amount of force when subduing a physical suspect.

Tuesday, August 22nd 2023, 10:32 pm

Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers are learning how to use jiu-jitsu as a de-escalation tactic. 

The agency says this style of fighting requires the least amount of force when troopers are forced to take on an aggressive person.

Instructors are giving a hands-on lesson to what's known as Gracie's Survival Tactics which teaches troopers how to physically de-escalate tense situations.

“When applied correctly, it results in the least amount of force, the least amount of injury to the suspect and the trooper,” said Lieutenant Mark Southall with OHP.

Southall says troopers have been using jiu-jitsu for 25 years.

The hope is by learning this style of fighting, troopers will be able to de-escalate situations with a combative person without having to use more force than necessary.

“Jiu-Jitsu is using leverage and force -ground control- not necessarily strikes,” said Southall. “So it’s controlling suspects on the ground to ultimately get them into a handcuffing position.”

Southall says this training is important for all troopers, because violence towards law enforcement has increased in recent years, and troopers need to know how to fight back.

Southall says troopers encounter use-of-force scenarios frequently, sometimes as often as every day.

“Troopers work by themselves daily, all the time. They don’t have a partner, so when a situation arises, they themselves have to take care of whatever bad situation may occur,” said Southall. “We don’t have backup, so these guys have to be able to de-escalate the situation themselves.”

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol expects all troopers to get this training by the end of the year.

Additional training is expected to be completed annually.


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