On March 21, 2017 our Tampa Connection class participated in Public Safety Day, an exhilarating day to say the least.
The Mission of Public Safety Day was “To introduce class members to the inner workings of public safety sectors within the Tampa Bay community.” Mission accomplished!
The program kicked off at the Police Training Academy, where Senior Corporal Jared Douds talked about the training that goes on at the academy to produce the best police force. The class participated in a series of exercises including Tactical Driving, Intervention Techniques and Pursuits, taking turns riding in police cars. We toured the Range Facility, participated in a taser demo— surprisingly getting many volunteers to be tased!—, and experienced firsthand TPD’s Virtual Shooting Simulator. TPD also brought in a helicopter, the horse patrol, and the bomb squad. Yes, we blew up bombs and even started a brush fire, which resulted in an impromptu firefighter exercise. The morning ended with a live demonstration by the SWAT team.
The class then headed over to Tampa International Airport for an afternoon of learning all about the intricacies of public safety at a top-notch busy airport. We had an amazing speaker during lunch: FBI Special Agent Christopher Johnston, who is the Team Leader of the FBI two forensic crime scene processing teams—the Evidence Response Team and the Hazardous Evidence Response Team (Hazmat)—as well as the Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordinator for FBI Tampa Division. Lunch was followed by a behind the scenes tour of TIA’s baggage handling system, a tour of the Airport Operations Center & Incident Command Center, and last but not least, exciting demos at TIA’s K-9 and Training Facility, including the use of their Firearms Training System (FATS) .
This thrilling day wrapped up with Happy Hour at The Marriott Rooftop Lounge, where exhausted but happy class members reminisced about the many highlights of Public Safety Day while enjoying the aerial view of the airport and a beautiful sunset.
And if you want to see more pictures, here you go!