NWTC host first boat patrol officer training
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Wisconsin has more than 15,000 lakes and 84,000 miles of rivers and streams. While not all of those are navigable, there’s plenty of water being patrolled by law enforcement agencies.
Nearly 20 officers and deputies from across the state are taking to the Bay of Green Bay this week. They’re learning marine communication and coordination, open and close quarter maneuvering, line handling, and equipment considerations for boat patrol.
It’s all part of the first and only boat patrol officer training in Wisconsin, hosted by NWTC. According to Jason Weber, Public Safety Training Coordinator at the tech, “In doing some research, there really isn’t any at least that we could find of, any boat patrol classes, so we were able to make some connections with a couple of harbor patrol units out of Milwaukee that were willing to come up and teach this class.”
The two day, hands-on immersion class got officers and deputies on the water. They drilled everything from properly docking a boat to “man overboard” scenarios, learning easy to use techniques on how to get victims out of the water and to safety. All skills they could find themselves needing, no matter what kind of water they’re patrolling.
“I didn’t grow up on boats, other than working for the sheriff’s office. Boat patrol was my first time on a boat, so this is a lot of familiarization for me, getting used to being on and around maneuvering with a craft such as this, learning how to tie off and do all of the line work, things I’ve never even approached or thought of before. So, it was definitely useful for me,” says Dep. Cody Hornik from the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office.
While each department may train within itself and possibly with others nearby, this class offered some outside perspectives and lessons to enhance patrols in the participant’s communities. Dep. Hornik adds, “We’ve already taken a couple of things that we’re considering from this training and adding it to the techniques we already use in our department -- just to make our contact with other boats safer for us.”
And with a goal of teaching best practice for water patrol, the class was a success.
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