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Proposed New Legislation to Focus on Police self-defense training could reduce shootings

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ,  Police shoot less when they have the right training. That’s why Assemblymen Brian Bergen and Gordon Johnson introduced bi-partisan legislation Thursday to dramatically improve police training in New Jersey.

“Police officers only reach for their weapon as a last resort. Without proper self-defense training, it becomes the last resort faster than it needs to,” said Bergen (R-Morris), who served eight years in combat after graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point. “I am keenly aware as a former soldier that in most difficult situations we fall to our highest level of training. Right now there are no training requirements beyond the academy for self-defense in an officer’s 25-year career and that is a scary thought.”

Assemblyman Gordon Johnson is a former law-enforcement officer and veteran who understands firsthand the training needs of police officers.

“The training we provide our police officers needs to encompass the full breadth of functions that are necessary for effectively policing our communities,” said Gordon (R-Bergen). “A key component to this is self-defense. It has been overlooked, and we have paid the price on many occasions. It is time to fix this once and for all for the safety of our communities and for police themselves.”

Police officers have had minimal self-defense training during the police academy and no self-defense requirements for the remainder of their professional careers.

The bill (A4392), introduced Thursday, increases self-defense training at the police academy to 148 hours from 40 hours and implements annual in-service training requirements of 104 hours per year for the remainder of an officer’s career.

The idea came from Detective Paul Marinaccio, a training coordinator with the Union County Prosecutor’s Office. Under the leadership of acting Prosecutor Lyndsay Ruotolo, The Union County Prosecutor’s office has created an environment that prioritizes training and pioneered efforts to look at police training differently.

“In order to effectively de-escalate a situation, an officer must be confident in their ability to defend themselves and survive,” explained Marinaccio. “A lack of ability will produce a lack of self confidence, which leads to fear during a tumultuous encounter and likely to unnecessary escalation of force.”

Marinaccio is a 19-year veteran of law enforcement and serves as an instructor in force de-escalation, defensive tactics, firearms and physical training. He is also a black belt in American freestyle mixed martial arts and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

“The investment in training will pay itself back exponentially in the improvement of our ability to be both safe and effective in the most challenging of situations,”

Johnson has 24 years of experience with the Englewood Police Department, including time as the first African-American sheriff in Bergen County. He agrees self-defense training will go a long way to improve community relations and decrease incidents of excessive force.

“I am proud of this bi-partisan effort to actively improve the training of our law enforcement professionals across the state,” concluded Johnson. “We must continue to evolve our training to meet the needs of our citizens and this is the first step in the right direction.”

9 thoughts on “Proposed New Legislation to Focus on Police self-defense training could reduce shootings

  1. Why spend on training when you can spend on wages and benefits?

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  2. If you want to reduce shootings, especially when black men are the targets, then take the guns away from the criminals. Black on Black crime is the biggest problem in this country…..by far.

    Violent Gun Deaths per 100,000 people:
    United States 4.43
    Afghanistan 3.96
    Iraq 3.54

    St. Louis 60.9
    Baltimore 51.0
    Detroit 38.9

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  3. Who is taking those guns away? The police are being reduced, reformed and in some places eliminated. Hands are tied.

    Bail reform has those same shooters on the street in 24 hours anyways. You voted for that btw.

    Next time you drive on 208 on the bridge have a look at the Saddle River Road and Paramus Road over passes. Gang markings all over them. Its getting closer and closer…

    Elections have consequences.

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  4. Hey Gang Markings matter….

  5. This is all just Kabuki theater.
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    Police are largely (99.9% of the time) restraintful and non-predjudiced even to the point of giving non-whites a very slight additional deference.
    .
    But the spineless politicians will bend to the 1% radical agitators in a misguided belief that it will save them from targeting.
    .

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  6. I’m buying more guns and more ammunition.
    What’s funny is during the Obama ministration. More guns in the morning edition with salt ever than any other president. Think about that. Put that in your hat.

  7. The liberal news wont report it.
    Read the names.
    Hakim, Jamal, Unique… not exactly a bunch of red haired irish kids.
    Its a social problem, not a gun problem.
    When a women spreads her legs for 5 different men, and the male offspring don’t have a dad at the dinner table to beat the shit out of them when they screw up, you see the results in the inner cities.
    Black on black crime. “Dis me and i’ll get out my nine’
    Black lives matter, only when a rouge white cop kills a career black criminal.
    And the libtards blame the gun.
    How about realizing that the failure is the breakdown of the family, and a society (inner city) that accepts violence, and won’t help the poh-lice. “snitches get stitches’.
    They made their own bed, let them sleep in it.

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  8. Hey read the names…. why do you hide behind anonymous?

  9. Oh please stop.

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