SHERIFF BRIAN BEGOLE can be seen leading his team during an active shooter training simulation at the Shiawassee County Medical Care Facility building in Corunna on Tuesday, Feb. 20. The training included officers from the Michigan State Police and Shiawassee County Sheriff’s Office, and officers from the village of Morrice and the cities of Corunna, Laingsburg, Owosso and Perry. The building is now owned by the city of Corunna, which was gracious enough to allow the officers to use the building.
While these initial training sessions involve the county’s law enforcement personnel, EMS and fire fighters will be trained in the coming weeks, with a full-scale mock active shooter exercise planned for May 19. Additionally, Kim Bowen of Welcome Home Assisted Living has also volunteered Wilbur Bills in Bancroft as a secondary training location, which will likely be utilized in the coming weeks as training continues.
(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)
by Graham Sturgeon, co-editor
Law enforcement officers from across Shiawassee County gathered at the vacated Pleasant View building in Corunna on Tuesday, Feb. 20 to kick off an intensive active shooter training campaign. The training is the first stage of implementation of the county’s newly formed active shooter response plan, which was created by the Shiawassee County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO), Emergency Manager Trent Atkins and the Shiawassee County Association of Law Enforcement (SCALE), along with county police, fire and EMS agencies. The group began developing the plan in October.
Police departments from the village of Morrice and the cities of Corunna, Laingsburg, Owosso and Perry joined the Michigan State Police (MSP) and Shiawassee County Sheriff’s Office for training sessions throughout the week of Tuesday, Feb. 20, and county EMS and fire personnel will begin receiving training in early March.
Emergency Manager Atkins, who is also the county’s Homeland Security coordinator, is excited that, after many months of planning, neighboring police agencies are coming together to implement the new plan countywide.
“We’ve all been looking forward to this for years,” shared Atkins regarding the formation of an interjurisdictional response team. “We have a sheriff who wants to work together with the other law enforcement agencies in the county, and it is really encouraging to see.”
Nine certified trainers educate the officers and walk them through simulations of various active shooter response scenarios. The training team consists of Brian Smith and Keith Hansen, both sergeants with the SCSO; Laingsburg Police Chief Dan DeKorte; Perry Police Chief Kyle Bawks; Morrice Police Chief Matt Balsey; Lieutenant Larry Atteberry with Memorial Healthcare; Owosso Public Safety officers Matt Lamay and Jason Schmidt; and Sergeant Dave Stoppa with the MSP.
“With the increased incidents of active shooters at our schools, churches and businesses, we have to be proactive in our preparation of law enforcement to rapidly respond and mitigate these type of incidents,” stated Sheriff Brian BeGole. “This is the first time in many years that local law enforcement and the Michigan State Police have trained side by side. It only makes sense. We will be responding together, making it necessary that we train and prepare together.”