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Cincinnati Police Department recruit officer hospitalized after Police Academy training

Recruit suffered medical emergency
John Brown hospitalized after training drill
Posted at 6:26 PM, Jan 26, 2022

CINCINNATI — A Cincinnati Police recruit officer suffered a medical emergency and remains in serious condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center after participating in a Police Academy training exercise.

Officials have not clarified what the medical emergency was or whether it was brought on by the training he participated in.

Officer John Brown, 36, participated in a "redman drill" on Jan. 19, designed to simulate taking down and arresting a suspect.

The training involves officers role playing physical scenarios with an experienced CPD officer. During the drill, five scenarios simulate methods "necessary to resolve a violent situation," according to a memo sent by John Curp, interim city manager.

Police Academy training 2

"The simulation is designed to enhance recruits' ability to think clearly, minimize panic and use measured force under pressure," reads the memo.

Since Brown's emergency, Chief Eliot Isaac has suspended use of redman drills.

Fraternal Order of Police President Sgt. Dan Hils said the exercise focuses on wrestling someone into a position where they could be handcuffed — training Hils said he did decades ago when he was a police recruit.

"So that type of ground wrestling is, you know, very, very strenuous stuff," Hils said. "It's very demanding, physically demanding stuff."

Police Academy training

Hils said the recruit was not injured during the training, calling it a "very rare and somewhat unexplained medical event."

"It's serious, what happened, but I think it came from the exertion that this young man was doing at the time," Hils said. "Do people twist ankles, do people bump their knees? Those are common, quite common, but this is different."

The City's Office of Risk Management and its Employee Safety Division are investigating to determine what might have led up to Brown's emergency.

"Right now, the most important thing is praying and hoping that there is some sort of break and that this young man is fine," Hils said.