Training preps GPD for every senario

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GREENFIELD — Preparing for every possible interaction with residents, officials with the Greenfield Police Department recently held a two-day field training session at Brandywine Park to allow officers to hone their skills.

Officers worked on a little bit of everything from force-on-force work to the best way to conduct traffic stops — all designed to keep officers and community members safe.

One of the scenarios even had the officers going through shooting drills, using paint ball guns just to be able to get the feel of live action should it really happen.

“We don’t just go to the range and shoot,” Chief Brian Hartman said. “We go and train and incorporate all kinds of scenarios into our training.”

The officers even worked through person-down, office-down scenarios, as well as scenes on how to properly engage a suspect where shots are fired with a suspect going down.

“Even in training when someone goes down, we are immediately on the radio trying to render aid to whoever is hit,” Hartman said. “Because if you don’t train it in a non-stress situation, when the stress situation comes, you’ll see people walking around in circles wondering what to do.”

That’s exactly what happened in recent GPD shooting when an officer shot a man who was assaulting a woman. As soon as the man was shot, GPD officials immediately went into life-saving mode, rendering aid and calling for a medic. Hartman said he is proud of those kinds of efforts, learned through training.

“The training that we do here lets us see how the officers do in training and how they conduct themselves on a daily basis,” Hartman said. “I tell our guys all the time, I have the easiest job in the world because I can honestly go home and know the citizens of Greenfield are taken care of.”

The confidence comes from the field training Hartman said. While he likes the type of training his officers took part in he wants more and is considering having two different types of field training days knowing no one can ever get enough of that kind of work.

“Every year during field day we take five to six scenarios and we incorporate those into the everyday life of a police officer,” Hartman said.

One of the scenarios they worked on was every-day, single-officer traffic stops. The stops incorporated de-escalation, tactical, firearm, defensive tactics and taser skills, all into one lesson.

“The role players go as far as an officer lets them take it,” Hartman said. “If an officer is not controlling the scene, the role players continued to do what they wanted and that gave our officers a chance to practice those de-escalation skills,” Hartman said.

Another scenario included working on felony stops where multiple officers worked together on tactics.

Perhaps one of the biggest things they talked about and worked on was how officers should gather and communicate when working their 12-hour shifts.

“We talked to them about making drink stops, taking a breather and it’s good for them to do so with other officers,” Hartman said. “It gives them a few minutes to decompress, plus it protects our guys and gals from ambushes with so many officers in one area.”

One of the drills they worked on for that particular setting was an ambush at a drink stop.

“We had five officers role into the range which was set up like a gas station and we let them get cup of coffee and the next thing you know an angry guy comes in and pulls a gun, and yes this is training, but it really could happen,” Hartman said.

The training the officers went through earlier this month Hartman said was the most valuable training they get all year.

“You know why?” Hartman said. “Because they were real-life scenarios.”

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