Chief Fred Maas When people who serve the public; police officers, firefighters, emergency rescue personnel receive advanced or sophisticated training in specific areas, it benefits us all. It better prepares them to handle those exceptional times of emergency or situations that require EXPERTISE.
In the following narrative, Sgt. Bobby Randazzo, a highly qualified, deeply respected and professional marine patrol officer and supervisor, does just that! Only he brings his story of the advanced training and the rigorous effort required to you. This opportunity is not presented to all. And not ALL MAKE IT THRU! But the real story of success will be the BENEFITS to the residents and visitors to Sunny Isles Beach who will know what a highly skilled, highly trained and knowledgeable expert they have patrolling their waters.
I can tell you that if my LOVED ONES were involved in a boating or water emergency, this is the professional I would want coming to their rescue. But also, to do ALL those things to protect our marine environment and provide security on our surrounding waterways and to our water accessible homes.
Congratulations Sgt. Randazzo and to those of you who see him regularly or happen to come across him on his job, take a moment to congratulate him, ask him to see his service pin that is shown and described in this article, because a lot of effort, sweat and preparation went into earning that pin, which reminds us of how we ALL benefit from his TRAINING… Here is Sgt. Randazzo’s story…
MARINE LAW ENFORCEMENT TRAINING PROGRAM GLYNCO, GEORGIA
On March 1st, 2010, Sergeant Bobby Randazzo was invited to attend a very elite marine patrol training opportunity in conjunction with the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center located in Glynco, Georgia. As a participant of MLETP, Class 007, Sergeant Randazzo spent one month attending a very intense training academy, all expenses paid by the Royal Policing Institute. The opportunity to attend this elite training program and bringing this valuable information back to the City of Sunny Isles Beach could only be accomplished with the support and approval of Chief Fred Maas.
The curriculum for the mini-training academy included every aspect of marine patrol. Some of the topics covered were Navigational Rules, Officer Survival Afloat, Aids to Navigation, Vessel Handling, Pursuits, Emergency Procedures, Chart Interpretation, Piloting and Dead Reckoning, Radar, Waterborne Arrest Techniques and many, many more. All the instructors for the MLETP are current and former law enforcement officers with extensive experience piloting government, commercial and civilian vessels. They have extensive experience with a multitude of federal and state agencies and many have served in the U.S. Coast Guard.
The course was set up to allow students the opportunity to attend a block of classroom training on a topic, than spend a block of training on a simulator practicing what was learned in the classroom. The next phase was an actual training program, on board a vessel, putting all the classroom and simulator techniques to actual use. What an opportunity to learn new techniques, network with other officers from all over the United States and have such well qualified instructors.
The course is held on a secure Federal Base that supports a montage of training courses for all branches of police including the FBI, the Secret Service, the Federal Air Marshalls and NCIS. The course is four weeks long and all the students are housed on the base. The base has all the conveniences of any city. It has a huge cafeteria, a barber shop, a medical treatment facility, a work out facility, a library, and so on.
Most of the training courses we normally attend are all classroom, power point presentations. It is very unusual to have quality hands on training and especially unique to have hands on marine patrol training. As a part of the course, we had to simulate being thrown out of our vessels and cast into freezing water. On that day, in full uniform, including a bulletproof vest, gun belt and life jacket, we were cast into 51 degree water. The current was pulling us down stream. We had to swim across the current to a vessel about 200 yards away. Once we got to the vessel, in the freezing water, with the current trying to pull us away, we had to grab a line from the vessel, tie a bowline in the end, step into it and pull ourselves onboard the vessel. This exercise gave us the ability to experience hyperthermia first hand.
On another training day, we attended a 4-hour block of classroom training watching a power point presentation on navigation techniques using our radar and GPS. After the 4- hour morning session, we spent 4-hours in the simulator practicing the techniques. Then, after a short dinner break, we did some night time navigation onboard our FLETC vessel in the dead of night.
In most seminars and training courses, a written test is given and the student’s comprehension of the course is based on those tests. In this course, the students were tested almost every day with not only a written test, but a verbal exam, and an extensive practical test onboard their vessels. I am happy to say, Sergeant Randazzo successfully graduated the course and brings all those skills back to our city.
Sergeant Randazzo proudly wears the Homeland Security symbolism on his uniform as a testimony to his commitment to his profession. The breaking waves with crossed oars represent his coastal mission and the dangers there in. The gear cogs represent the ability to shift gears at a moment’s notice and respond to the immediate task at hand. The seahorses represent vigilance and mobility facing out, protecting the homeland within. The anchor is a symbol of being steadfast and secure in our mission. The compass rose symbolizes the ability to complete our mission worldwide.