SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — CBS13’s exclusive video of a suspect tackled by a uniformed Sacramento Police officer has gone viral, putting the officer in the spotlight.
Sacramento Police officer Paul Curtis seemingly appears out of nowhere to take down a 19-year-old suspect in a Land Park neighborhood.
“That was a good hit, I’m impressed,” said former Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness.
The entire scene caught by CBS13 photojournalist James Taylor is also being praised by Don Cameron, who trains police officers for such situations.
“I think it was a great use of force,” he said.
Curtis is a 15-year veteran and one of the most physically gifted officers in uniform. He rode his bike across the country in 2011 and is a department fitness coordinator.
McGinness says officers in great shape typically win these struggles.
“It’s an athletic event,” he said. “It’s somebody who is driven to take action to stop something bad from happening or get a situation under control.”
That hit was likely just instincts, not something he learned in a classroom. Instead it was on a high-school football field when he was a defensive tackle for his high school team.
“You look at that video and you go, ‘Here is a guy who played football.’ You can tell,” McGinness said.
But Cameron says officers are now learning this type of takedown in the classroom.
“To see an officer make a tackle 10 years ago, you go ‘Whoa, he must have played football,’” he said. “Now it’s like ‘He finished the academy.’”
The rise of mixed-martial arts is also forcing officers to learn these types of hits.
“Because of the advent of MMA, we see a lot of suspects that will use a leg shoot, which is basically just a forward lunging tackle,” Cameron said.