Police train with Hawkeye wrestlers


    Some of Iowa's most elite athletes have been putting police officers through their paces.

    It's an unlikely relationship between University of Iowa's wrestlers, a mat and the Iowa City police force.

    "They didn't come out unscathed," Chief Jody Matherly, Iowa City Police Department, said. "I had a couple, three say my neck's a little tweaked."

    A number of officers from Iowa City, the University of Iowa and Oelwein Police Department learned defensive tactics and hands-on training to reduce the extent of injuries for both officers and suspects.

    Though it was a little painful, it's nothing most officers won't face in the field.

    "They're being taught basically how to sprawl, defend yourself off leg attacks and being able to put a guy down and defend yourself," Ryan Morningstar, assistant wrestling coach, said.

    "It's that situation where things are progressing really fast and we might have to go hands on and that means going into wrestling mode and fighting mode with a suspect," Matherly said.

    The ICPD chief is a former certified wrestling coach, so he said he knows the importance of the tactics.

    "I got a lot of positive feedback from the officers saying this was something different and not to mention, they know these athletes are out there, they know they're at the top of their game and for them to be trained by them was really the pinnacle," Matherly said.

    "It's really fun, helping them out they do a lot for the community that definitely goes unthanked and unappreciated so it's really nice to be able to give back to them and help them a bit," Matt McDonough, two-time NCAA wrestling champion, said.

    All departments said this collaboration is something they plan to continue and expand in the future.

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