Written by LINK nky reporter Haley Parnell
Scott Smith holds many titles. He is the Administrator of the Town of Ludlow, the Chief Constable of Ludlow. And there NKY Martial Arts Academy in Ludlow.
Smith is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt with 26 years of experience. Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art and combat sport based on ground combat and submission.
It teaches lessons in self-defense and how to protect yourself. Learning self-defense and not relying on a gun is what Smith tries to implement with his program that he offers specifically to police departments in Northern Kentucky.
Smith sent emails to all departments in the region offering them access to his gym seven days a week, whatever program they wanted to train in – not exclusively Jiu-Jitsu – for only $6 per month. Smith’s only request was that their agencies sponsor them because he wanted them to take responsibility.
“I’ve had officers, and some of them are sergeants and stuff like that, guys who really care about working the streets,” Smith said. “I’ve had guys from Covington, Erlanger, all these other departments reach out to me and say, ‘Man, I wish we could do this; I’ll try to get him up my chain of command. “”
A minimum of 10 people from each department is required for Smith’s program pricing; however, there are exceptions for smaller counties such as Fort Thomas.
Smith was already coaching the Warren and Kenton County Swat teams before starting his program.
“If you’re not doing everything you can, you’re doing the minimum,” Smith said.
This program is implemented to assist in police reform. Smith said that after the initial training to become a police officer, there were no further courses required to keep up with the physical fitness and skills needed for the job and that officers often had to go back to grabbing their weapons and to shoot because they couldn’t fight.
“No one is immune to being on the news,” Smith said. “99% of the time you have to get your hands on someone.”
Smith has already implemented this change in his department. After becoming chief, he had a gymnasium built in their post and officers could train for up to an hour of their shift. He also asks them to practice hand-to-hand combat four times a year, as well as the four times they have to practice at the shooting range.
If a first responder wishes to attend classes at the NKY Martial Arts Academy, Smith said he offers a discounted price for first responders.
“I would lose money if everyone accepted my offer, but I want to lose money,” Smith said. “Because that means people would do the program.”
Photo: Provided (Scott Smith)