Law enforcement officers from the Montgomery County (Pa.) Major Incident Response Team (MIRT) attended the Field Force Operations (FFO) course and the Initial Law Enforcement Response to Suicide Bombing Attacks (ILERSBA) course in mid September. The 59 officers represent 51 municipal police departments in the county.
The three-day FFO course consists of hands-on training and tools to understand and mitigate civil actions or disorders. ILERSBA arms frontline law enforcement officers with the knowledge to effectively respond to an imminent suicide bombing attack or non-suicide attack involving a vehicle-borne device.
According to William Albany, chief of the MIRT, his goal is to designate the MIRT as a Type One Mobile Field Force as listed by the National Incident Management System (NIMS). He says this training is a major initial step.
“Our county borders Philadelphia and it is a frequent campaign stop during presidential elections,” says Albany. “Our team is routinely deployed for crowd control during these events and a Mobile Field Force is necessary. Additionally, the response to suicide bombers course will greatly aid us in the early detection and intervention of these incidents.”
With more than 34 years experience in law enforcement, Albany organized the CDP trip with 26 Pennsylvania cities in Montgomery County. He said that in addition to major events and incidents, his Field Force will manage large crowds for almost any venue designed for protest or conjure attention.
“The response of the police during these incidents will affect the reputation of a city and its police for years after the incident,” says Albany. “The need for the police to respond in a legal and professional manner cannot be overstated. Training like that offered at the CDP is invaluable.”
The training, provided by the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP), located in Anniston, Ala., is designed for emergency response providers, emergency managers, and other government officials from state, local, and tribal governments. Training at the CDP campus is federally funded at no cost to state, local and tribal emergency response professionals or their agency. For more information on the CDP’s specialized programs and courses, visit cdp.dhs.gov.