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Police neighbors share anti-terrorism tactics

JBLM military police officers apply Canadian techniques to new threats

593rd ESC Public Affairs

Published: 05:04PM July 3rd, 2014

Soldiers of the 42nd Military Police Brigade, 593rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command and civilian officers of the Directorate of Emergency Services attended the first “Search and Canvas” course taught by the Vancouver (British Columbia) Police Department at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, June 23 to 27.

During the weeklong class, 27 law enforcement officers learned detailed search techniques developed by the British Army and adopted by the Vancouver Police in 2005.

Primarily structured for anti- terrorism training, the course was introduced to the organization by Staff Sgt. Lee Patterson, a British Army veteran who is currently assigned to the VPD.

“There are different levels of searching, and what the Vancouver Police Department has passed on is a phenomenal method,” said Staff Sgt. William Halstead, 42nd MP Bde.

The intent of course was to improve military police officers’ ability to identify potential terrorist threats and eventually integrate this training Armywide as a quarterly event, said Halstead, who also facilitated the course as the military liaison with Vancouver police.

“Our goal is to have the Vancouver Police Department train future U.S. Army trainers and possibly start an academy,” Halstead said.

Bringing the course to JBLM was the idea of Sgt. Maj. James Pearson, VPD departmental sergeant major, and Sgt. Maj. Richard Lopez, operations sergeant major, 42nd MP Bde. It took 18 months of coordination to bring the VPD’s heralded anti-terrorism search program to military police on JBLM, Pearson said.

Now the national course standard for all Canadian police, the program first gained recognition after the VPD’s success as security for the 2012 Winter Olympic Games, said Staff Sgt. Lee Patterson, Vancouver police officer. Patterson was the senior search coordinator for the 2012 games.

“We shouldn’t keep good ideas a secret, we should share them,” Patterson said. “This is a great exchange of ideas and concepts in training that is mutually beneficial to both organizations.”

This week’s course was a step forward in developing a more proficient military police force, he said, while implementing new anti-terrorist techniques and maintaining good relations.

“We see this as a big maneuver for both agencies,” Pearson said. “As this collaboration is sure to open doors for the Vancouver Police Department, we greatly appreciate the opportunity and hope to continue to work together.”

Soldiers of the 42nd MP Bde. and civilian DES officers learn new search techniques while training with the Vancouver PD. Course participants were selected by their organizations to attend what was the first training collaboration of the U.S. Army and Vancouver Police.