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Military police sharpen law enforcement skills during training exercise

By Maria Childs | 1ST INF. DIV. POST | February 10, 2017

     Soldiers from the 116th Military Police Company, 97th Military Police Battalion honed their law enforcement skills during a series of exercises Jan. 31 through Feb. 2 at Camp Funston. The exercises included scenarios of an active shooter, regular traffic stops and robberies. The battalion leadership is offering basic-level certification for the completion of this course.

     Pfc. Chester Nelson, 116th MP Co., 97th MP Bn., was one of the Soldiers who completed the training.

     “Today we’re training on suicides as well as active shooter, but this week we’ve also been doing traffic stops … anything like that,” Nelson said Feb. 2. “Anything can happen, and as MPs we have to be prepared. These scenarios are built around what we’re generally going to run into in any environment as MPs.”

     Pvt. Clayton Bergeron, 116th MP Co., 97th MP Bn., was playing the role of the active shooter during the exercise. He said exercises like this one help prepare Soldiers to answer the call to defend our nation.

     “The training is for deployment, but it’s really to give the hands-on experience for the new guys,” Bergeron said. “We have roughly 70 new privates who just joined. They just came fresh out of basic training and AIT, which doesn’t necessarily give you the skills and confidence you need as an MP.”

     During the exercise, the Soldiers primary goal was to eliminate the target, in this case, it was Bergeron. Bergeron tried to draw the Soldiers in by sending a victim out of the building then retreating into the building. New people were in each group, so Bergeron didn’t always know what to expect from each group.

     During one of the groups, the Soldiers came in the back door instead of the front door where Bergeron was trying to draw them in. This caught him off guard because it was the first time it happened during the training.

     “All that was confidence in themselves,” he said. “It shocked me because I didn’t know who was coming.”

     Bergeron said knowing how to respond to a variety of law enforcement calls is an important skill for these Soldiers because it keeps them on their toes and gives them the confidence to do their job.

     “It can save a lot of lives if you know what you’re doing,” he said.

     First Lt. Zach Bregovi, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 97th MP Bn., gave feedback to the Soldiers who participated in the training after each group finished. He said he saw gradual improvement in proficiency and confidence as the exercise went on.

     “There’s a lot of new Soldiers who are going through these lanes and a lot of them have not worked the road before,” he said. “First and foremost is providing the most realistic training possible; creating a dynamic operating environment so they get exposed to several different things and the predictability isn’t there for them — you never know what is going to happen.”

 

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