Brushing up on skills

Local officers continuously training in various areas

An officer takes part in taser training, which acts as a refresher course required each year. (Courtesy Photo/Manistee County Sheriff’s Office)

MANISTEE COUNTY — For local law enforcement, constant training is required to stay current and keep the public safe.

The Manistee County Sheriff’s Office conducted two recent training sessions, which allowed officers to brush up on their skills and learn the best practices in law enforcement.

On Monday, a group of officers participated in restraint chair use, taser and defensive tactics training.

“We do a refresher once a year,” said sheriff John O’Hagan. “We have so many employees, so they break it down into sections. Anyone who carries (a taser) each year has to go through that course.”

The purpose of training each employee, O’Hagan said, is to make sure the public is safe and that each officer is keeping up with changing technology.

“It’s very important with that training that (officers) get refreshed, so they stay in touch with best practices and what’s going on across the country,” he said. “I want people to see that we are constantly training.”

Last week over a two day period, the sheriff’s office also hosted the Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) training.

Participating were 29 law enforcement officers from the sheriff’s office, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Department of Public Safety and other surrounding agencies.

The course is designed to offer an advanced understanding of the impairing effects of drugs and alcohol.

“It’s standardized field sobriety testing,” O’Hagan said. “That’s our deputies getting refreshed on what to look for when stopping vehicles, looking for people who’ve been operating while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Most law enforcement all follow the same standardized sobriety testing.”

There are a variety of training opportunities held throughout the year. O’Hagan said some are required and others are not.

“We also do our defensive tactics, CPR, first aid and firearms training,” said O’Hagan. “The better trained we are, the better prepared we are to act quickly and respond correctly to any situation.”

March through April are the optimal months to hold training courses, O’Hagan said. Firearms training will take place in April.

Training opportunities that all officers are required to complete include courses like tasers, firearms and use of force.

“The firearms we actually do two to three times per year and (they have to) qualify one time,” he said. “We like to do one or two in a regular light setting and then a night shoot.”

While not all training opportunities require officers to take a test, O’Hagan said a majority require some sort of qualification at the end.

“Instructors are qualifying and putting their name down in print to say that they passed, whether it’s a test or shooting on the range,” he said. “If something ever happens later where there is a lawsuit or litigation, that instructor would be subpoenaed into court as well.”

Officers are always searching for new ways to train, O’Hagan said.

“We are looking for other avenues that we can send our corrections officers and road officers because, again, it ensures the safety of our officers and the public,” he said. “We do a wide variety of trainings that are not necessarily required, but they still sharpen the skills.”

 

 

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Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

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