EVERETT, Wash. - Afloat Training Group Pacific Northwest (ATG PACNORWEST) hosted 600 law enforcement officers for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) program held on Naval Station Everett April 27-29.
The LEOKA program is a nationwide law enforcement safety initiative, which brings personal stories and experiences to agencies around the country. These stories about officers who were injured in the line of duty give personal insight to the dangers law enforcement officers face on a daily basis.
Lt. Mike McComb, ATG PACNORWEST Topside Warfare department head, worked to bring the training to Everett.
"I saw a value of how the training would apply to the anti-terrorism/force protection guys and our boarding teams," McComb said.
As part of his job at ATG PACNORWEST, McComb directs the assessment and training of five different warfare areas including seamanship, navigation, search and rescue, visit, board, search and seizure teams and anti-terrorism/force protection.
Military members came from around the region to attend the training, which included topics ranging from traffic stops to facing a drawn gun. Federal, state, county, local and tribal law enforcement officers also attended the one-day course.
"Having the agencies here on board shows the military's commitment to partnering with our civilian counterparts and working together," McComb said.
McComb said the training is useful for Sailors due to the type of missions they have and ports they go to because the people they may face on those missions might not be friendly.
"For the [topic] 'Will to Win', when these teams are out there doing their anti-terrorism boardings, you don't know who you're going to come across," McComb said. "You don't know what their intentions are. You don't know what their training is, so being mentally prepared to get out there and confront those guys is important. It's one thing to hear about it and to think about it, but it's another to actually speak to instructors that have past experience with it."
Michelle Jeter, national instructor for the FBI CJIS LEOKA program, shared her experience of being injured in the line of duty with the attendees during the Will to Win/Will to Survive topic of the program. She said the program is in place to make officers of every entity aware that things can happen.
"It doesn't matter the size of the agency, the department, the town but anything can happen at any point in time and if what any of the instructors say can prevent something traumatic happening to any officer, it makes it all worthwhile," she said. "They need to be aware that it happens. You hear about it on the radio and TV, but a lot of times it's far away, but it's not real to them. When you get an officer's testimony on video with an incident that happens and they relate to it, it makes them more cautious of what might be."
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