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The Case for Taiho-Jutsu for Auxiliary Police

In 1968, the senior author was in a college fraternity which decided its community service project should be to work with the police. Since there was no vehicle in place at the time with the police department in the tiny town of South Fallsburg, NY, the department decided to form an Auxiliary Police Force. No formal training was required or given. To join, all one had to do was volunteer. Thinking that a police hat in the back seat, a decal on the fly window (when cars had fly windows), and a card strategically placed opposite my driver license would give pause to any State Trooper stopping me for speeding on the New York State Thruway, volunteering seemed like a good idea.

Today, the overwhelming majority of police departments having Auxiliary Officers offer something vastly different from the 1968 experience mentioned above. Auxiliary Police are uniformed, drive marked cars, are screened and tested in much the same way regular, full-time, paid officers are, attend academy training, and have much the same patrol and arrest powers as regular officers. Two purposes of creating Auxiliary Police forces are to show an increased police presence to the public, and to be additional “eyes and ears” for the full-time officers. Auxiliary Officers patrol streets and highways, set up license checkpoints, aid disabled motorists, engage in alcohol and drug testing of impaired drivers, assist in emergency situations, and respond to domestic disturbances. Many jurisdictions provide an opportunity for Auxiliary Officers to enter specialized areas as well.

In researching this article, it appears that the vast majority of Auxiliary Officers do not have the authority to carry firearms (a notable exception is in the State of Florida). Almost all others are issued batons, handcuffs, bullet-resistant vests, sprays, and receive training in first-aid and unarmed self-defense.


Training in unarmed self-defense is, as with the regular officers, minimal, regardless of what city, county, or state one looks at. Herein lies the strongest argument for the case for Taiho-Jutsu for Auxiliary Officers.

When you empower individuals with arresting powers, and have these same individuals responding to domestic disturbances, road stops, drug or alcohol impaired drivers, and other potentially dangerous and/or life-threatening situations, and do not issue them firearms, the training they receive in unarmed self-defense and baton techniques needs to be more than minimal. The presence of a marked car and a uniform will do little to prevent a confrontation if the person being detained or questioned is so inclined. Having an officer, regular or auxiliary, enter a situation with a degree of fear due to insufficient or inadequate training, jeopardizes everyone involved. This is precisely why Taiho-Jutsu is so vitally important for these officers. In a relative short amount of time, the basic course may be completed, providing the Auxiliary Officer with not only the most efficient tools for ensuring his/her safety, but builds the officer’s confidence in general, reflecting in all areas of his/her work (and personal) life. A general police tactics program may be helpful, but training in Taiho-Jutsu is as close to a guarantee as possible for an Auxiliary Officer to go about his/her duties more efficiently, and if there is a confrontational situation the officer finds him/herself in, there is confidence and competence in effecting an arrest if necessary without any reliance on a weapon of any sort. This is the case for Taiho-Jutsu for Auxiliary Police Officers.




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