Matt Harrison, a 7-year veteran of the Newtown Police Department, earned his blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Tuesday and expressed his enthusiastic desire to show his new skills the next time he found himself face-to-face with some belligerent mothers or aggressive violinists. Harrison, who began training in the grappling art after seeing how much more effectively his peers were able to subdue teenagers who fit the description of a snack shoplifter, was effusive in his gratitude to the coaches and teammates who helped him perfect his painful restraints. Staff at the gym were similarly eager to brag about the positive effects instruction has had for the local police force.
“I just think every officer should be required to take Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu,” said Harrison’s black belt, Anthony Osbourne. “That’s why my gym offers an adopt-a-cop program where people can pay the tuition for a local police officer so that he or she can learn how to correctly apply shoulder-breaking torque or restrictive blood chokes the next time attendants at a candle light vigil refuse to disband the second it’s labeled unlawful.”
The program has been met with widespread praise, but it is not without its detractors. Some Newtown residents have expressed their support for the police, but worried that in the future officers may not be as effective at understanding when restrictive assaults were merited and there is a worry that the moves may some day even be used on upstanding patriots like themselves.