UPDATED: WPD hosts, completes recent trainings
WORTHINGTON -- After completing two recent training programs, area public safety officials have more resources at their fingertips for encounters they may face on-duty.
WORTHINGTON - After completing two recent training programs, area public safety officials have more resources at their fingertips for encounters they may face on-duty.
The Worthington Police Department completed its annual Force on Force Reality Based training in May. Then, in early June, the WPD hosted the Midwest Community Policing Institute to provide de-escalation strategies for situations involving persons with mental illnesses or behavioral disorders.
Worthington Police Sgt. Brett Wiltrout said the annual Force on Force training allows officers to practice a different reality-based scenario each year.
“Our job is to build proficiency, confidence and survivability to our police officers by introducing stress and reality-based scenarios,” Wiltrout said.
The training was co-taught by certified instructors Wiltrout and WPD Patrol Officer Tyler Olson.
Wiltrout said it’s extremely beneficial for officers to undergo the annual Force on Force training.
“A lot of departments don’t introduce stress into their trainings,” said Wiltrout, who considers that training to have a lesser effect than the force on force counterpart.
Wiltrout said the training includes both shoot and no-shoot situations to help officers prepare and feel more comfortable in similar on-duty situations.
Officers used an imitation gun that fires 9-millimeter marker rounds.
“The marking round won’t penetrate your skin, but it hurts,” Wiltrout said.
In the three years the department has hosted the Force on Force Reality Based trainings, Wiltrout said he has personally experienced and witnessed a positive impact as a result of having completed the training.
“It has definitely increased proficiency with our officers,” he said. “I had a situation where the information I received from the reality-based training seamlessly translated to the real situation.”
Having a noticeable positive effect, Wiltrout said the WPD plan to continue hosting the training and hope to invite outside agencies in the future.
“Our goal is to continue this training for many, many years and our number one focus is that we train so much we can’t get it wrong,” he said.
The WPD also recently hosted the de-escalation training.
“It is very critical with what is going on in law enforcement today,” said Worthington Police Capt. Kevin Flynn. “De-escalation is the name of the game.”
Public safety officials from WPD, Nobles County Jail and Buffalo Ridge Task Force completed the four-hour classroom instruction that covered a range of topics, including common mental illnesses and behavior disorders, stress-related conditions, strategies to assess and relate to an individual in crisis, alternative dispute resolution tactics and Minnesota resources for individuals in crisis and their families.
Wiltrout said the de-escalation instruction emphasized and provided resources for how public safety officials can effectively interact with discharged military personnel.