Jesse Dodd, a deputy with the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department, participates in tactical team training Wednesday at Training Area 167. Dodd and seven other PCSD deputies spent two days on post this week, gaining valuable refresher training. Law enforcement agencies regularly come from as far away as St. Louis to use Fort Leonard Wood’s world-class training facilities.
Jesse Dodd, a deputy with the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department, participates in tactical team training Wednesday at Training Area 167. Dodd and seven other PCSD deputies spent two days on post this week, gaining valuable refresher training. Law enforcement agencies regularly come from as far away as St. Louis to use Fort Leonard Wood’s world-class training facilities. (Photo Credit: Photo by Angi Betran, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Phelps County Sheriff’s Department deputies spent two days on Fort Leonard Wood this week, gaining valuable law enforcement refresher training.

The eight deputies on post Tuesday and Wednesday are based out of Rolla, Missouri, and are members of what’s called a special response team — a highly-trained tactical element of the sheriff’s department that typically responds to the high-risk calls and operations beyond the capabilities of traditional law enforcement.

“It’s like a smaller version of a SWAT team,” said Alex Maurer, a detective sergeant with PCSD, and one of the attendees.

Over the course of the two days, the deputies were able to practice breaching and tactical team techniques, as well as have classroom training and a live-fire event, Maurer said.

“It’s awesome for us,” he added. “We don’t have anything like this in Phelps County. This gives our guys a lot of real-world experience in a training facility.”

James Cornett, a U.S. Army Military Police School training instructor, said law enforcement agencies regularly come from as far away as St. Louis to use Fort Leonard Wood’s world-class training facilities.

“Things like these live-fire shoot houses and ranges — those are something that most of these guys don’t have because they don’t have the facilities like Fort Leonard Wood does,” he said.

Allowing civilian law enforcement agencies to train here is beneficial for everyone involved, Cornett added.

“For Fort Leonard Wood, it’s a little bit of networking, getting out there, working with the community, working with the law enforcement agencies around Fort Leonard Wood,” he said. “The other benefit for us specifically is that these guys are bringing tactics and techniques from their areas of operation. Having them here, sharing some of that with us, we can then start working some of that into what we’re teaching our military police.”

Another attendee this week, Fred Taylor, served as an Infantryman in the Army before becoming a PCSD deputy about three years ago. He said he enjoys serving his community — Rolla is his hometown — and that starts with getting the best training available.

“I’m not really a classroom guy, so when we get to go out and do hands-on stuff, it’s a good way for me to learn,” he said.

Cornett said future training opportunities for the PCSD deputies are planned in the coming months.