SBI Trains Local Law Enforcement


The State Bureau of Investigation recently trained 20 law enforcement officers through a grant provided by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program. The training was conducted at the North Carolina Forest Service Mountain Training Facility in the Town of Crossnore. The setting was beautiful, located in the Gill State Forest on the banks of the Linville River. The surrounding area provides trout-filled rivers, soothing waterfalls and multiple hiking trails.

The training was carried out by six primary instructors, with the majority being members of the SBI’s Special Response Team or SRT as it is commonly called. Although the five-day onsite training course is titled Advanced Tactical Marijuana Eradication, the name does not amply describe the quality and relevance of the training. The course teaches officers skills that can be used in any environment, whether a wooded rural county or heavily populated metropolitan city.

The first day focused on medical training with each student obtaining certification in the use of an EPI pen. A major training block concentrated on Tactical Casualty Combat Care or TC3 as it is commonly called. TC3 applies battlefield medicine to everyday scenarios in an effort to save lives. Some of the skills taught included chest seals or wound packing in the event someone is struck by gunfire. Students were exposed to multiple tourniquet and splint scenarios to increase their proficiency in the event a need to render this skill set should arise.

The second day focused on land navigation but the skills taught reinforce the need of any officer to pay attention to their surroundings and location. One example where these skills could become imminently apparent might occur when a driver pulls over and runs into a wooded area to get away from an officer. Whether employed by a small rural department or metropolitan agency, any law enforcement officer is equally at risk when entering an unknown area. The skills learned in this training might prevent an officer from becoming disoriented and allow for an accurate estimate of a location when calling for assistance or narrowing down the driver’s location.

The third day focused on tactical movements which can be applied to a number of different applications. The training taught skills relevant to an array of search and rescue efforts or multiple manhunt scenarios an agency might be drawn into. The training exposed officers to various methods that can apply to a pair of officers, or groups as large as 12.

The instructors focused on proper techniques to conceal movements when using a flashlight or limiting unnecessary noise when encountering unknown situations. Group movements focused on crossing danger areas and advancing forward, while protecting officers’ positions.

Day four split the class into two groups. One group participated in multiple locate and engage exercises using simunitions to create a dynamic training environment. For anyone who has never been hit by a simunition round, it hurts, and drills the point to use sound tactics home pretty quickly. The other group practiced different firearms exercises on the range before preparing for a live fire scenario complicated by the added need to transport an injured officer to safety. After lunch, the two groups swapped activites in preparation for the final day.

The last day required the students to participate in a large-scale scenario which afforded each student the opportunity to demonstrate the cumulative skills acquired. The scenario required proficiency in land navigation and tactical movements, while applying field medicine and safe transport to an injured party. This was the inaugural advanced class and the agencies represented by the attendees included the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Ashe County Sheriff’s Office, Kernersville Police Department, NC Wildlife Resources Commission, and the SBI.

Although the skills taught during the course are applicable to any law enforcement environment, the typical student has participated in the SBI-managed marijuana eradication program. In the future, the SBI hopes to expand training efforts and increase the appeal to law enforcement officers who are employed in more urban environments.