World-class police training in Whitestown

Published Oct 8, 2018 at 4:00pm

There was a television show some years back — a police show in fact— in which the sergeant advised the young patrol officers with the words: “Let’s be careful out there” or something close to that.

That’s because the world can be a dangerous place. We rely on the dedication, skills and training of young officers every day.

Nearly 120 officers from three dozen law enforcement agencies, including the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department and Utica and New Hartford police, were in Whitestown last week for some world-class scenario-specific training. The site was the state Preparedness Training Center in Whitestown.

The officers participated in the fourth annual Excelsior Challenge over three days. Re-enacted during the training were the 2017 Las Vegas concert shooting and the high school gunman in Parkland, Fla. The Challenge gives officers a yearly week of scenario-based training for SWAT teams, bomb squads and K9 officers.

Training Center Assistant Director Robert Stallman Jr. pointed out that the exercise tries to mimic as closely as possible those events that are happening all over the world.

Those of us who live in this region can be proud that we host the state Preparedness Training Center that police describe as “awesome” in the way it trains officers to protect us from those who would try to do us harm.