EXCLUSIVE | Officer who spars with Stipe shares story

Cop by day MMA fighter by night

The Cleveland Police Department is partnering with TV-20 to create stories that delve into the lives of Police Officers.

The department wants to show the good work police do in the community and the interesting lives they lead.

“We’re in an interesting point in policing in America today a lot information that gets out there sometimes doesn’t paint us in the most a favorable light,” Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia said. “People sort of lose track of the fact that we’re people just like everybody else… we just want to show that officers do interesting things.”

Cleveland Patrolman JT Miller will be featured in one of these segments because of his interesting “double-life.”

Miller has been on the Cleveland Police Department for three years.

During the entire time he’s also been a professional MMA fighter.

He began training in 2009 and had his first fight in 2012.

Miller goes by the alias JT Dream Killer Miller in the fighting world.

Miller is also uniquely poised to help change attitudes about policing, when local studies have shown that groups most likely to have negative opinions of police tend to be male, from Cleveland, young and minority. These are all groups Miller can access.

“I’ve gotten few people… like some grandparents who have said hey… I would like you to talk to my grandson. He’s having some trouble… a lot of times these kids they police as the enemy,” Miller said. “Police officers are all people too. I hope to bridge gaps if anything.”

Millers next fight will happen at the Summit County Fair Grounds on June 10.

Besides the work he does in the gym and on the streets of Cleveland, he has another fame to claim.  He spars with Stipe Miocic, whose been dubbed by some as the best UFC heavyweight champion ever.

“Getting beaten up by the likes of Stipe Miocic everyday, you know you’re going to be ready on your feet,” an announcer said at one of Miller’s fights.

Besides illustrating the neat things Cleveland Police Officers are doing, Sgt. Ciaccia says they plan to run more one-on-one interviews with the Cleveland Police Chief and police leadership.

They also want to delve into “trending” topics involving the police department and the city as well as provide a “rounder picture” of who Cleveland Police are and what they do.

WKYC


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