The Aventura Police Department recently participated in advanced training that helps us to keep our citizens safe from criminals intent on breaking the law. EVOC Training: Emergency Vehicle Operators Course is designed to enhance the ability for first responders to identify the importance of proper training for emergency vehicle operations. Our officers learned about the many dynamic forces of nature and physics, which can work both for and against the safe operation of emergency vehicles. Vehicle containment and vehicle blocking were two techniques practiced on the driving course by our officers that will help us keep innocent motorists from being harmed by fleeing criminals. Police are subjected to many unexpected, real world situations when criminals get behind the wheel. The EVOC Training covered all the techniques needed to maintain the highest level of safety possible such as how to prepare for unexpected situations and conditions which can adversely affect emergency vehicle operation, defensive driving techniques that include space management, following distance and rate of closure, hazard identification and correct braking techniques. The APD successfully trained with cutting edge tactical skills that will help prevent injuries to the innocent public and ourselves when the bad guys use their motor vehicles as deadly weapons.
The APD also recently updated our “Active Shooter” Policy to provide clear guidelines and progressive tactics that enhance our ability to keep the public safe in such a potentially deadly situation. The United States Department of Homeland Security (2008) defines an active shooter as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.” The term “active shooter” is currently being critiqued because of the proliferation of mass stabbings. The APD will now be using the term “Active Threat” that addresses the multitude of weapons that can be used to cause such large scale casualties. Many people are very raw and scared after recent nearby mass tragedies. With people feeling high levels of emotions and fear, the APD needs to be a source for prevention, education, and protection. Our officers, dispatch, and command personnel need to be highly trained in order to quickly and decisively assess and neutralize threats. Working in partnership with local schools, religious institutions, and businesses is key to having plans in place before a potential threat occurs. We have learned that seconds count, and the speed of our response is dependent on our thorough and advanced preparation. We cannot train for every situation, but the hours of prep will pay off for our officers who have time and again proven their valor.
I have full confidence in the bravery of each and every APD officer. We face threats everyday and have to be mindful of not only the safety of ourselves, but of the thousands of innocent men, women, and children in public going about their daily lives. No other profession is tasked with such a courageous monumental calling and I am pleased that our team is ready… in heart, body, and mind… for the challenge.