State hosts training for threat response tactics in Youngstown - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

State hosts training for threat response tactics in Youngstown

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Officers from police departments in the Valley learned first-hand how to stop violence if they arrive at a scene alone.

"It's important to remember that the first officer on the scene is not a SWAT team. In most situations, it's simply a patrol officer that receives the call first," said Jessica Didion, Deputy Director of the Ohio Peace Officer Academy.

The academy hosted a three-day training course inside the former Immaculate Conception School on Elm Street in Youngstown last week.

Officers practiced with firearms and response tactics for following up on threats; threats that in some instances on the job could be deadly.

Some of the lecture material was classified and some officers who enrolled were undercover.

During mock responses, officers were taught to maneuver through close quarters as they sought out a pretend shooter.

"In light of current events, it's important that officers, especially first responders, can know what to do when getting to a scene involving an active threat," Didion said.

"This isn't just limited to school settings. It's certainly applicable to officers in any area, rural or urban settings," Didion said.

Youngstown State University Police say they're in favor of the hands-on repetition performed while practicing.

"Actually going through the motions, seeing how it actually works, being confronted by what would be an aggressor makes you think," said Michael Cretella, YSU's Deputy Chief.

The academy that puts on this training works under the Ohio Attorney General's Office.

The state plans to host more than a dozen more single officer training courses across Ohio in 2013.

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