Tokyo police share ‘DJ Cop’ techniques with departments far and wide

JIJI

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department has been happily responding to requests from police forces across the nation eager to learn “DJ Cop” techniques.

In June, a Tokyo police officer earned the nickname DJ Cop for his witty instructions to calm and guide excited soccer fans at an intersection near JR Shibuya Station after Japan qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals.

The riot squad member and his female teammate were given the superintendent-general’s award by the Metropolitan Police Department for their humorous but skillful control of the crowd.

Some of what they told to the crowd included, “You are the team’s 12th player. Play fair like the Japanese team.”

Since then, Tokyo police have received a flurry of requests from other prefectural police departments for staff training in such skills.

According to the metropolitan police, flexible and impromptu security announcements are the fruit of discussions on better instructions that started for the security of the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. They have brushed up and inherited techniques by holding competitions.

This year, the Tokyo police held six workshops at departments in five prefectures including Tottori and Saga prefectures. Similar workshops are planned for next year.

Police officers who received the training sessions are expected to debut on security duties around local shrines, where many people make their traditional first visit of the new year.

“Just reading from scripts does not appeal to people,” says Tomokazu Kondo, an instructor at the security bureau of the metropolitan police department. One of the keys to getting across their announcements, he says, is having empathy with the people lining up on shrine approaches and having information they want.

Through trial and error, Kondo and his colleagues have come up with phrases such as “Take your time, God will not go away” to worshippers at shrines at New Year’s. To guide visitors to the popular Sumida River Fireworks Festival in the summer, Tokyo police officers tell the many who stop and look up, “Please do walk forward slowly as the river flows.”

Some trainees find it difficult to improvise, but they are told that what is most important is to describe the situation precisely and deliver information needed to prevent accidents.