Three Singaporean auxiliary police officers are joining local law enforcement at an active shooter low-light training course this week at a simulation training building at Camp Bowie.
Officers from 13 agencies are taking part in the training, including the Brownwood PD; Brown County Sheriff’s Office; Early PD; Grosbeck PD; Abilene PD; Comanche PD; Midland PD; Williamson County Sheriff’s Office; U.S. Forest Service; and the Fort Bliss Directorate of Emergency Services.
Course instructors from the San Marcos, San Antonio and DeSoto police departments are leading officers through the training. The course is part of Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, or ALERRT, program at Texas State University.
Sanjeev Singh is an Inspector in Singapore’s Installation Auxiliary Police Force, a unit that protects the joint American, Australian, British and New Zealander naval base in that country. Singh attended the training with fellow officers Muhhamad Ghanaji and Shirinasha. He said he has been to several trainings in the United States. “Last year, five of us from the force got the opportunity to travel to San Francisco for the level one training,” Singh said, “after which we decided to come down for the level two.”
Brownwood police chief Terry Nichols explained that Active Shooter Level One training involves clearing a room of active shooters and “taking the fight to the bad guys,” while Active Shooter Level Two teaches how to give injured persons in active shooter situations temporary treatment until they can receive professional medical help. The official ALERRT site summarizes level one training as “stop the killing,” while level two teaches how to “stop the dying.”
Singh and his colleagues underwent level two training in San Marcos last week. The low-light training at Camp Bowie is meant to be a supplement to this training, and teaches officers how to use flashlights and verbal cues to clear shooters from pitch-black buildings.
“It’s been a great opportunity to meet different people from all walks of life,” Singh said of his visit with American law enforcement. He said the training will be valuable to him as a patrol officer because most Installations Auxiliary Police don’t have that expertise.
“Back in Singapore it’s a different arena altogether,” Singh said. “The patrol officers, we don’t really do the forced-entry, low light stuff. It’s always the specialized unit. But now, with this in our hands, I feel that it’s more of an advantage for us. We can just go in, stop the killing and save the people.”
Nichols said the Singaporean visitors had the opportunity to tour the Brown County jail and do a ride-along with Brownwood officers. He said the Singaporeans, and all attending officers, will be able to train others in the course by the end of the week. “This is a train-the-trainer class,” Nichols said. “Their goal is to go back and teach the officers the tactics they’ve learned here.
“We’re learning a lot from them about Singapore and about their culture, and I’ve enjoyed getting to host them here in Brownwood,” he said.
Nichols said the low-light training would be helpful for all officers involved, including the Brownwood police. “This is a tactical class that also they can use in their day-to-day jobs,” Nichols said. “For Brownwood … if they get an alarm call down at the Coliseum, for example, and it’s night time when they’re having to clear the Coliseum, we’re showing them tactics where they can use their flashlights that they’re not traditionally exposed to.”
ALERRT at Texas State has trained more than 105,000 law enforcement officers across the country in how to respond to active shooter situations. The Camp Bowie training will wrap up on Friday.