Contact: Janine Kava, Press Office
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services
(518) 457-8828 or (518) 275-5508 – cell
janine.kava@dcjs.ny.gov

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Enhancing police officers’ safety, saving officers’ lives

Firearms, defensive tactics instructors from across the state receiving force-on-force training at the New York State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany

Firearms and defensive tactics instructors from law enforcement academies across the state are in Oriskany this week, learning how to teach their colleagues the skills and tactics that could save police officers’ lives during high-risk situations.

The Office of Public Safety at the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) is coordinating the force-on-force training for 30 instructors from 15 law enforcement academies and two state agencies. The training, hosted by the New York State Preparedness Training Center, began Monday and concludes Friday.

“Next month, at its annual Police Officer Memorial Remembrance Ceremony, New York State will honor seven officers who died in the line of duty in 2007,” DCJS Commissioner Denise E. O’Donnell said. “It is my hope that by providing these grants to offer this critically important training, police officers throughout the state will be better equipped to survive the dangers they encounter on the job.

“DCJS is proud to partner with the Office of Homeland Security to bring this training to the State Preparedness Training Center, and I look forward to working together in the future to ensure that all of New York’s first-responders – police, fire, EMS – get the training they need to ensure their safety and the security of all New Yorkers,” O’Donnell added.

Added Deputy Secretary for Public Safety Michael Balboni: “Force-on-force training is a critical element in the ongoing education of law enforcement officers in the Empire State to ensure their safety and enhance the protection of the citizens they serve. This training also showcases the versatility of the State Preparedness Training Center by being able to provide facilities for both classroom and physical training.”

The training is designed to enhance officers’ decision-making skills, reaction and response times by covering all aspects of a real force-on-force situation, from the psychological to the physical.

Simulated weapons that act and feel like the firearms officers use every day will be used during the training. Instructors also will learn how to develop training scenarios that are based on situations that officers are likely to encounter on the job, in their communities.

“DCJS’ use of the State Preparedness Training Center for this force-on-force instruction reinforces our vision that this center is a multi-disciplinary hub for quality first responder training,” added F. David Sheppard, director of the New York State Office of Homeland Security. “Working with our local, federal and state partners, the state Office of Homeland Security remains committed to building a world-class training facility here and turning it into a Center for Excellence for the Northeast Region.”

The course is being taught by Kenneth R. Murray, the director of training for the Armiger Police Training Institute (www.armiger.net) and founder of the Reality Based Training Association located near Orlando, Fla. Murray has spent his career as a police and military trainer, specializing in the field of reality-based training.

Once firearms and defensive tactic instructors are trained, they will share their knowledge by training police agencies across the state through their respective academies. Ten academies received $15,000 from DCJS to purchase equipment and provide instructors with training: the Broome County Law Enforcement Academy in Binghamton; the Buffalo Police Academy; the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Academy in Jamestown; the David Sullivan Law Enforcement Academy in Canton; the Plattsburgh Police Academy; the Police Chiefs’ Association of Orange County Police Academy in New Windsor; the Southern Tier Law Enforcement Academy in Corning; the Ulster County Sheriff’s Academy in Kingston; the Westchester County Department of Public Safety Police Academy in Valhalla; and the Zone 5 Law Enforcement Academy in Schenectady.

Also participating in the training are officers and training supervisors from the Central New York Police Academy in Syracuse; Monroe Community College Public Safety Training Center in Rochester; the New York State Police Training Academy in Albany; Suffolk County Police Academy in Brentwood; the Syracuse Police Academy; DCJS; and the Preparedness Training Center.

The New York State Sheriffs’ Association and the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police support this training initiative. In addition to providing standardized training and support to law enforcement, the DCJS Office of Public Safety administers the Law Enforcement Accreditation Program and operates an equipment repair center, where law enforcement agencies can bring their speed and alcohol detection instruments for repair and calibration.

DCJS is a multi-function criminal justice support agency with a variety of responsibilities, including collection and analysis of statewide crime data; operation of the DNA databank and criminal fingerprint files; administration of federal and state criminal justice funds; support of criminal justice-related agencies across the state; and administration of the state’s Sex Offender Registry and a toll-free telephone number (1-800-262-3257) that allows anyone to research the status of an offender.