The following information was supplied by the Troy Police Department. Photos courtesy of Jim Klynstra.
This Wednesday, the Oakland County Law Enforcement Tactical Response Coordinating Group (OakTAC) conducted a joint small squad tactics and crowd control training exercise at the CREST Facility on the campus of Oakland Community College in Auburn Hills. The exercise highlighted some of the newest equipment obtained in conjunction with two successful federal grant applications submitted by this recently formed work group.
The OakTAC group is composed of members from the following Oakland County law enforcement agencies:
- Auburn Hills Police Department
- Beverly Hills Department of Public Safety
- Farmington Hills Police Department
- Ferndale Police Department
- Novi Police Department
- Oakland County Sheriff Office
- Royal Oak Police Department
- Southfield Police Department
- Troy Police Department
The history of this group dates back to 2009 when Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard hosted a meeting that ultimately generated discussion over the need for a more regional response to large-scale incidents. From that initial discussion, the Oakland County Law Enforcement –Tactical Response Coordinating Group was established.
The purpose of this group is to provide coordination of resources and training, and ultimately position Oakland County to more effectively and efficiently respond in the event of a major incident requiring mutual aid.
With assistance provided by the Michigan State Police, OakTAC implemented a Small Squad Tactics train the trainer program at the Michigan State Fair Grounds in May of 2009. Participating Oakland County agencies sent representatives to be trained by MSP as certified instructors in small squad tactics. The training progressed throughout the summer of 2009 with OakTAC instructors eventually extending this training to almost 700 law enforcement personnel from Oakland County.
In December 2009, OakTAC applied for a Federal Homeland Security Grant for personal protective equipment to outfit 100 officers responding to civil unrest incidents and two trailers to house and quickly deploy that equipment. OakTAC was awarded the grant in 2010. The purchasing process was initiated, as were discussions on a future large scale training exercise. In addition, work was begun on the mutual aid agreement that would be required among the participating agencies.
In 2011, OakTAC applied for another Federal Homeland Security Grant, this time seeking funding to purchase crowd control barricades, two trailers to house that equipment, and funding to cover personnel costs associated with a large scale training exercise that would be held to test and utilize the equipment purchased with the two grants. That grant was approved in late 2011.
In early 2012, the Inter-local Service Agreements were signed by the participating agencies, and Wednesday’s joint training exercise was planned.
This project represents the culmination of a coordinated work effort by many members of the participating agencies. As a result of these efforts, Oakland County Law Enforcement has received significant training and equipment to respond to large scale incidents.
This Wednesday’s group exercise offered representatives from the several agencies involved in this effort the opportunity to train with the newly obtained equipment, and do so utilizing personnel from each organization. Students from Oakland County Community College, many from the Criminal Justice Program, participated as actors in an effort to make the training as realistic as possible.
Command and control, joint tactical deployment of personnel, and the coordination of personnel from different agencies are among the challenges this training tested.