Former WWE superstar teaches law enforcement tools to connect with community, youth

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Police from across our area are learning new tools to better connect with the community, and their teacher might not be who you’d expect. 

Daniel Puder, a former WWE Superstar and MMA fighter, is the CEO/Founder of My Life My Power Institute. 

This week he taught a room full of law enforcement and educators in Raleigh. 

He provides emotional intelligence training through his program, which is something often not taught in the academy. 

“They don’t feel it, so we get them to go through experiences where they feel it, become a little vulnerable, which is a little different for law enforcement, and be able to impact more kids faster,” said Puder. 

Puder brings his own experiences to the table of being bullied and in juvenile detention. 

“When they have a vision and a purpose, the kids aren’t going to be doing all the dumb stuff,” he said. “These kids are doing drugs to either feel or not feel. If they want to feel like they’re wanting to feel because they’re numb and if they don’t want to feel, they don’t want to feel because their emotions are erratic.”

People from the Raleigh Police Department, Wake County Sheriff’s Office, Garner Police Department, Apex Police Department, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, NC State Bureau of Investigation and more were in this week’s training sessions. 

“We need to embrace innovation and we need to find new ways to reach out to students of all ages,” said Bob Schurmeier, director of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

The PILOT program’s received federal funding to combat many issues facing our youth, including the higher level of drug abuse. Experts say kids are using more types of drugs and at younger ages. 

“We know treatment works and we know enforcement works but we were missing on the prevention piece,” said Dan Salter, executive director of Atlanta-Carolinas HIDTA. 

Puder and his team are teaching how to effectively reach kids, understand the reasons they turn to bad behavior and help them. 

The teaching techniques may be out of some attendees’ comfort zones, which they say can make it even more effective.

“Cops tend to want to do things in a disciplined or standardized way and it’s kind of a neat training because we move around a little bit,” said Donny Hansen, deputy director for Atlanta-Carolinas HIDTA. “It makes things more fun.”

Raleigh is the second city they’ve done the training in. 

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