PIQUA — Neighbors and passers-by on Wayne Street, near Grant Street, got a glimpse into a police training session on Thursday morning.
Piqua Police Department members of the Piqua/Sidney/Shelby County Tactical Response Team borrowed a vacant house on Wayne Street to get in some training with several newer members of the team.
“We generally train with Sidney and Shelby County. We work together as a combined team.” said Deputy Chief Tom Steiner, “We’ve got three guys who are pretty new to the team. We’ve been working on them in training for the past two or three months.”
“There are some things that we can work on better as a small group, than we can with the whole group,” Steiner said.
Becoming a member of the TRT unit requires a lot of work and training, above and beyond the “normal” duties of a law enforcement officer.
There must be an opening on the team, first. Piqua police usually have only eight spots on the team that provides coverage for Piqua, Sidney and Shelby County.
When an opening exists, an announcement is made that try-outs will be held for officer interested in becoming part of the team.
Interested officers must submit paperwork explaining why they wish to become part of the TRT unit. The selection process includes shooting, fitness drills, as well as a confidence course where candidates must do a lot of thinking and working together as a team. That is followed by an interview panel.
“We score them and pick the best people that we can out of that group.” said Steiner.
Chief Bruce Jamison said that while all officers are trained and use single and double officer tactics, the TRT unit is used in situations that dictate specialized training and equipment. Jamison said the team’s main purpose is in “low-frequency, high-risk” situations.
There are “Multiple times a year where we have situations where we have to think about officer safety and public safety,” said Jamison, “We use what presents the lowest risk to officers and the public.”
The three Piqua officers currently training with the TRT team are expected to become “full members” some time next year, according to Steiner.
Reach Mike Ullery at (937) 451-3335