MSP hosts active shooter training

In the top photo, Michigan State Police Trooper Matt Peters reloads the practice guns during active shooter training on Thursday in the former UP Health System-Marquette hospital. MSP has been hosting a week-long training session for county law enforcement agencies. In the below left photo, Marquette County law enforcement agencies debrief following a scenario Small groups of three or four troopers went through the process with Northern Michigan University students volunteering. Michigan State Police Trooper Mike Rowe, left, MSP Trooper Curtis Alward, and MSP Cadet and Criminal Justice Association Vice President Katie Scholtz, right, prepare for the next scenario. (Journal photos by Dreyma Beronja)


Journal Staff Writer

MARQUETTE — Michigan State Police Emergency Support Team spent this week hosting an active shooter training for Marquette County law enforcement agencies to participate in.

The training was at the former hospital’s emergency room with Northern Michigan University students volunteering as role-players during the scenarios. MSP Sgt. Jonah Bonovetz said that each training day had three-hour training blocks that were held three times a day.

“We always use the analogy of you come home from work, you’re walking up to the front door and there’s just water gushing out your front door and down your steps,” Bonovetz said. “Are you going to walk up the steps and get a bucket and mop and start cleaning up the water? What are you going to do? You’re going to find the source and stop it.”

Bonovetz said that during the scenarios, troopers are met with volunteers acting injured and screaming, a gunfire simulator to match the sound of a real weapon and a smoke machine to reduce visibility. All the elements are to give the troopers a sense of realism in addition to practicing in the empty emergency room.

“The goal is run to the threat, stop the threat,” Bonovetz said.

At Thursday’s afternoon training session, MSP Trooper Jeremiah Parks said that he was excited to be participating in the training session. Parks said that for many troopers, including himself, working in the rural parts of the area means only working with one other officer at times.

“It’s a good opportunity,” Parks said. “We don’t get many opportunities to train with other agencies.”

Parks is one of the participating troopers that has recently gone through a training session. Parks went through the course two weeks ago with Mackinac and Luce County at Luce County Courthouse.

“At the end of the day, I do feel like our department does a good job trying to implement this (training) and they’re trying to do a better job of making sure this training is welcome,” Parks said.

Parks said for him personally he feels that this training is very important to help troopers take things learned from the active shooter training session and apply it to their daily jobs on a smaller scale.

“Maybe it’s not an active shooter maybe it’s just one individual you’re deling with at their house, but there’s always something you can take and use in your day-to-day,” Parks said. “Not only that but in the event that something should happen you want to be well prepared. That’s part of our job, to be prepared.”

Dreyma Beronja can be reached at 906-228-2500 ext. 248. Their email address is dberonj@miningjournal.


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