By Catrina Francis, Fort Knox News EditorApril 28, 2017
"Help, I've been 'shot!'" "He's shooting!" Those were the words yelled April 17 when Fort Knox's Department of the Army civilian police conducted active shooter scenario training at the former Mudge Elementary School building on post.
Lt. Ron Reyna, an instructor for the DACP, said the active shooter scenario was kinetic and fast-paced.
"It was (a) two-way battle going on and if you do your tactics wrong you will do it wrong one time," Reyna explained about the simuntion and the possibility of being shot. "It's a lesson learned better than anyone telling you what to do. You will learn from experience and feeling that (simunition pellet)."
Reyna said although a few of the officers were getting frustrated with the training because the "shooter" was able to get the drop on them, he said he would rather they learn lessons in training than with their life when they are on the street. He said the officers had to conduct training again because he believes practice makes perfect.
"We want to try for perfection, but we have to practice, practice, practice to get to perfect," he said. "If it takes several iterations of training so be it."
On April 17 the officers were conducting training that's mandated by U.S. Army Installation Management Command which requires the officers to complete several tasks annually. The five-day training focused on mandatory subjects, active shooter scenario, high-risk and low-risk traffic stops and a standardized field sobriety test as well as other training scenarios.
Reyna pointed out that having the DACP receive trauma training helps because the guest instructor taught them how to pack wounds, use a pressure dressing and tourniquet.
"After we clear a room from an active shooter we either arrest or neutralize the subjects or subjects," Reyna said. "We can then turn our focus on rescue task force which saves people's lives who have been hurt."
The training was also beneficial for the role players such as Spc. Dillon Griffin, a military police officer with the 233rd MP Regiment in the Kentucky National Guard. Griffin said he volunteered as a role player because he thought it would be a lot of fun and a learning experience.
"I thought this would be a good step because I haven't been trained on an active shooter situation for well over a year and this lets me refurbish my skills," said Griffin. "(I) learned new tactics and procedures. The way they cleared the rooms was a little different from the way I was trained."
Although Griffin wasn't evaluated on his role, he said he will take the knowledge gained from the DACP to his unit to see if they can incorporate the active shooter training differences into their training.
The training wasn't only beneficial for Griffin. Reyna said it also provided officers an opportunity to work together and gel the department's cohesion. Reyna pointed out that it's important to make sure the training was as realistic as possible. He said the goal was to train officers for a specific task so they can be under stress which adds realism to the actual event.
"By having the ability to use role players, practice and use simunition rounds, use weapon systems that deploy and the radio communications are all the things they would actually use the day of a critical incident," explained Reyna. "We can see if a person is weak in an event so we can identify and retrain that officer to the level of expectations.
"I can only do that by placing them under as much stress as possible and as close to realism as possible within reason. (I need) to learn where each person's breaking is, (and) when we get to that point we know where we need to retrain or do it again until they feel comfortable with their abilities. We need them to be confident. We need them to be the warrior they can be."
MPs, DACPs riding in new cars:
While driving on Fort Knox individuals might have noticed the change and new look of cars being driven by military police and Department of the Army civilian police.
That change is due to the U.S. Army Installation Management Command standardizing the striping and equipment package for all continental United States police cars.
Lt. Ron Reyna, in instructor for Fort Knox's DACP, said each car in CONUS will have the same stripe design, marking, equipment and lights.
"When we get the car we have to put in radar, camera systems and radios," he said. "We all go to a local vendor to have the stripe put on, but all of the stripes are the same."
Reyna added that the only difference in the cars will be the name of the installation which is on the bottom of the door.
"The people who work and live here will see a change in the appearance of the cars," Reyna said. "That's the new military police vehicle, and they will become familiar with that as they go from installation to installation."