Sadly this type of situation seems to be on the rise not only in Colorado, but in all parts of our country. It never ceases to amaze me how some people can arm themselves with a weapon and just begin shooting at innocent victims, especially children! The frequency of these criminal acts have prompted law enforcement agencies to not only adapt their training, but also their way of thinking when responding to this type of call. The Rolla Police Department began our own active shooter training program several years ago, and most recently began offering the training to surrounding jurisdictions as a way of getting all of us on the same page. We pray that we never have this type of situation but we also feel the need to be prepared if we do. Thank you David Benke and your co-worker for ending this terrible nightmare!
On a lighter note, this week’s Volunteers in Police Services (VIPS) spotlight is focused on Anthony Giacolone. If the last name Giacolone sounds familiar, it should as Anthony is none other than VIPS Coordinator Vince Giacolone’s son. Anthony is a chip off the old block in that he assists our patrol division with school and business patrols, vacation security checks, neighborhood patrols and call assistance. Anthony was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and has been living in Doolittle since 2000. Anthony is a reserve police officer with that city and has been doing that service for 3 years. He is married and has a son and the entire family enjoys bow and rifle hunting, Cardinal games and spending time with each other. Anthony says that he was attracted to VIPS through his law enforcement background. He says he wanted to extend his service to the Rolla community and feels that the VIPS program is a wonderful experience and he feels honored to participate. Thanks Anthony for all you do!
This week’s Rolla Police Department Facebook site “Employee of the Week” winner is Animal Control Officer John Redshaw! John was born and raised in southern California, then moved to Salem, Oregon where he graduated from high school and enlisted in the U.S. Army. John served as a heavy equipment operator and combat engineer until 1984, at which time John separated from the Army and moved to Rolla to take a position with the Missouri National Guard. John retired from the Guard in 2002 and accepted an Animal Control Officer position with the Rolla Police Department in 2003. John is married and has one son who resides in Europe. John enjoys fishing, woodworking, camping and family time! Congratulations John on winning “Employee of the Week!”
On Wednesday night, Rolla Police Explorer Post #170 held their bi-monthly meeting here at the Rolla Police Department. Law Enforcement Exploring is a division of the Boy Scouts of America and is a volunteer program for young men and women between the ages of 15 and 21 yrs who are interested in learning more about law enforcement. The cadets meet twice a month and receive training on different aspects of a law enforcement officer’s role in the community. The cadets also participate in real life situations and community events that help build character, a sense of responsibility and community involvement. This week the Patrol Division provided the cadets with hands on training on traffic stop safety, traffic direction and control, and emergency response. If you are interested in learning more about our Explorer programs contact explorer post advisors Spo. Tony Lauth or Spo. Chrissy Smith at 308-1213!
The Department of Public Safety requires that all officers complete a minimum of 48-hours of continuing education every 3 years, to maintain their peace officer certification. All but 24 hours of this training may be in-house, but the remainder must be from an outside entity. These hours total 1,392 training hours per year to cover all of the officers in our department. If we were to set a goal to have all new officers certified in all our basic requirements, the officer would spend 28% of duty time in training. To comply with the minimum industry standards, the police department should be allocating 51 hours per year per person to maintain the required basic certification. This equals over one full week per year, dedicated to training alone. While this does not sound like a lot of training time, you will also need to consider call volume, shift work, schedule shortages and vacations, the training schedule is difficult to accomplish.
The total training time to meet the minimum industry standards for re-certifications, SWAT and continuing with in-service training of 1500 hours per year totals 4, 065 hours. Based on 2007 figures, training and travel costs and assuming 5 new officers are trained, the cost per year for the training is at a minimum of $150,000.00. In other words, we are investing a significant sum of money in employees, but with high turnover rates, we are not seeing a reasonable return on that investment. We currently have officers who are certified instructors in the following classes pepper spray, police tactics, handcuffing techniques, baton, Taser, ground fighting, police radar, use of force, active shooter response, defensive driving, breathalyzer, field sobriety testing, flash bang deployment, patrol rifle instruction and shotgun certification. These classes are provided in-house to reduce travel and lodging expenses and overtime costs.
Have a great week!
Chief Mark Kearse