Guest Blogger: Officer Brandon Hollenbeck
Training law enforcement officers to respond immediately and appropriately to active shooter type incidents is a fundamental and necessary part of law enforcement training. It is not only important that police officers understand what an active shooter incident entails but more importantly officers must thoroughly understand the way in which we are required to respond to these incidents to prevent further injury or loss of life.
I am one of three Auburn Hills Police Department training instructors selected to represent our agency as an Oakland County Tactical Response (OakTac ) Instructor.
The Oakland County Law Enforcement – Tactical Response Coordinating Group “OakTac” was established in 2009. The purpose of this group was to prepare and train Oakland County law enforcement officers for regional response to a large scale civil disorder incident requiring mutual aid. OakTac provides coordination of resources and training, and ultimately positions Oakland County law enforcement personnel to respond effectively and efficiently to major incidents. OakTac is recognized as an official law enforcement entity by the federal government. OakTac is currently represented by 27 law enforcement agencies within Oakland County which, in total, provide police services to approximately 95% of the population of Oakland County.
OakTac initially implemented a small squad tactics training program in 2009 in which nearly 700 law enforcement personnel from Oakland County attended. OakTac has since introduced a specialized training program which consists of the rapid deployment and response to active shooter type incidents.
In 2012 OakTac was approved to develop an active shooter response policy and training program. The mission of the OakTAc group is to train as many law enforcement officers within Oakland County to respond consistently to active shooter incidents based on OakTac’s unified training model. In 2013 OakTac received federal grant funding to certify instructors, purchase necessary training equipment and implement the program. Department heads of OakTac agencies selected qualified training instructors who would be tasked with the critical assignment of delivering training concepts and tactics involving rapid deployment to active shooter incidents. The instructors completed several hours of consistent and dynamic training to achieve certification as OakTac Active Shooter Response Instructors.
To date approximately 500 law enforcement officers from 22 police agencies within Oakland County have successfully completed the training. OakTac’s goal is to complete training for 1,000 Oakland County officers by January 1st 2014 and train as many as 1,400 officers in total. Currently OakTac Instructors are conducting training classes four days per week. Each training class consists of 16 hours of rapid deployment training for classes between 20-25 law enforcement officers. In addition OakTac plans to hold a one day refresher training class for officers in the summer of 2014.
Officer Hollenbeck has been a sworn member of the Auburn Hills Police Department since 2002. He has experience in the Operations Division but currently is assigned as the court officer working in the Criminal Investigations Division. Officer Hollenbeck has also acquired experience, knowledge, and advanced training in several specialized areas of law enforcement during his career.