In full transparency, the following is a press release submitted to SOURCE media for publication from the Middlesex Sheriff’s office.
HOPKINTON – Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian, Hopkinton Police Chief Joseph Bennett and Ashland Police Chief Cara Rossi announced today, March 21, that 34 officers from the two police departments completed interactive, scenario-based training utilizing the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office Mobile Training Center (MTC).
“The Middlesex Sheriff’s Office is proud to partner with Chiefs Bennett and Rossi to make this vital training available,” said Sheriff Koutoujian. “By facilitating this interactive, scenario-based training, we are helping officers reinforce skills and techniques that are critical to effective policing – particularly around communication and de-escalation.”
Between March 13-17, Hopkinton and Ashland officers were put through a series of video-based scenarios that focused on responses to both business and residential settings, as well as calls where mental health was an underlying factor. These scenarios allowed officers to focus on the effective use of de-escalation, communication and other skills. In addition, officers also participated in an active shooter scenario. Following each scenario, officers and trainers discussed and assessed the responses.
“One of the most valuable aspects of this training is that the officer’s actions can dynamically impact the outcome of each scenario,” said Chief Bennett. “In some scenarios the officer is capable of de-escalating the situation through the effective use of tactics and communication.”
“In addition to the training itself, the ability of our officers to collaborate and form relationships – not only with each other, but with MSO personnel – is important,” said Chief Rossi. “Our jobs intersect on a regular basis but we rarely get to meet together for this length of time. This relationship-building in a non-crisis situation is crucial.”
In 2022, the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office worked with 29 agencies to facilitate training through the MTC.
Hopkinton Police Chief Joseph Bennett (from left), Ashland Police Chief Cara Rossi and Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian stand outside the MSO’s Mobile Training Center in Hopkinton on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. Photo courtesy of the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office