NEWS | Nov. 16, 2015

Training our nation's law enforcement

By Airman 1st Class Thomas T. Charlton 628 Air Base Wing/Public Affairs

When you see a blue uniform with a badge safety and protection should come to mind. They walk the streets and drive the roads keeping the general public safe from harm. Being police officers, they're always looking for ways to improve their skills.

At the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Charleston, S.C., there are a wide range of training opportunities that are available for federal, state and local law enforcement officers.

Carlos Vales, FLETC law enforcement specialist instructor, has been teaching safety and awareness to law enforcement personnel for over 15 years.

Vales said, "I just recently came to FLETC-Charleston officially on October 5. Just before this I had spent seven years in Brunswick, GA at Glynco, the headquarters for FLETC. I love to help train the police officers out in the field. "

Recently FLETC offered a week-long active shooter training course. The class includes learning proper techniques for handling weapons, treating casualties, assessing the tactical situation and responding directly to the active shooter. Additionally, basic emergency medical care training is also provided.

The active shooter program isn't just for local Charleston law enforcement. Law enforcement officers come from all over the U.S.  The best part is that your agencies are the ones that sponsor you to go so it is at no cost to the individual.

"This program is a four day program that we usually do about twice a month," said Vales, "And the best part about this training is that it is entirely free for them. They just have to get the approval from their supervisors and they get to come for the training. It's quite an amazing opportunity and tool for them to have."

With many officers completing the course, questions have been raised, "Is the training effective and will the training play a significant role for the police officer if a real life scenario arrives?" "There's a huge difference," Vales said, "We get something that is known as a level three feedback, which is from the field. One such case was about a year and a half ago, where a South Carolina police officer took down an active shooter. The police officer had just gone through our course not long before the incident. The officer said that had it not been for the training here he would not have known what to do."

Such stories show this program makes a difference.

Vales said, "I feel a difference when I wake up in the morning. I get up and I feel good knowing I'm helping this country's safety improve more and more every time someone walks through our doors."