Training Together, Policing Together

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On July 1, 2020, the inaugural Menifee Police Department will officially open its doors and start serving the City of Menifee’s people. Chief Pat Walsh still has a lot to accomplish before then — and he can’t wait to dive in deeper with his incoming staff.

“We’ve got experienced people coming to work for the Menifee Police Department, from all walks of life,” explains Walsh. “All of the staff will start two months before opening day so that we can train together.”

The high-energy Walsh certainly has been blessed with the gift of gab. But the former Lompoc Police Chief is about so much more than mere talk. In fact, Walsh has established a strong reputation for his training acumen and innovation during a 36-year career in law enforcement.

To that end, Walsh has teamed up with Senior Police Personnel & Training Analyst Tiffani Sik to establish an aggressive, multi-pronged training program for senior personnel and command staff (including Sergeants and Lieutenants) during the final ramp-up to July 1.

“We’ve been blessed to have people from so many different areas bring their ideas and training,” explains Sik. “We want to make sure we have enough time to let everyone build as a team and become a cohesive unit. In the end, we’re all one team. The point is to all get on the same page prior to going live on July 1. We want to make sure everyone knows our policies and procedures, our vision and our culture here at the Menifee Police Department.”

“I want us all on the same page, working in sync together,” adds Walsh. “I think it’s important that we employ super well-rounded police officers and professional staff here. Everybody will be here on May 11. Before that, we’ll have the leadership staff and command staff here on April 13. We’re going to do a lot of leadership training in April.”

That training will include a wide range of disciplines, tactics, practices, classes and symposiums. It even encompasses “field trips” to Riverside County facilities, Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles and complete City orientation. It is ambitious and far-reaching, and will include instruction from some renowned names in the law enforcement field.

Here’s a closer look at the training program implemented by Walsh and Sik:

*Strength-Based Leadership with Jim Uhl: Designed for Sergeants and above, this program will develop a strong framework for the department through strong, healthy leadership. Uhl, who runs Breaking the Chain Consulting, is a decorated California Police Sergeant and Gallup Certified Strengths Coach with a wealth of experience and insight.

*Maintaining Civility in an Age of Rudeness & Entitlement with Jim Uhl: Also led by Uhl, this course is designed to provide effective strategies on how to identify triggers, manage emotions, deal with challenging people and deliver outstanding customer service — under any and all circumstances.

*Combat Medical Training with Swift Tactical: Designed for first responders and run by certified CA POST and NAEMT training site Swift Tactical, this course teaches the basic medical interventions of Tactical Emergency Casualty Care.

*Risk Management and Ethics with Gordon Graham: Led by 35-year California law enforcement veteran Graham and Graham Research Consultants, this program is designed to emphasize ethical behavior and reduce risk and its associated costs — financial and otherwise.

*Defensive Tactics: This training program is run by renowned defensive tactics academy Artemis Defense Institute, and will emphasize proper use of force and police defense tactics for the field.

*Tools for Tolerance: The Command Staff will spend two days at the world-renowned Museum of Tolerance/Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum in Los Angeles, with the remainder of the staff joining on Day 2. This program is designed to explore our rapidly changing and increasingly diverse society — and assist law enforcement personnel in their ongoing efforts to enhance skills and deliver a more effective level of service.

*Social Identity Theory: Another program focused on diversity, this class is designed to assist officers with understanding how people identify themselves at their core.

*Emotional Survival with Dr. Kevin Gilmartin: Designed to help officers and their families understand and cope with the challenges of the law enforcement profession, spouses will also be invited to attend this class, which will address topics like survival skills, trauma and recovery and adrenalin. Dr. Gilmartin is the author of the renowned book Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement.

*PORAC Power Project: This program deals with wellness, ethics and resilience throughout the field of law enforcement.

*Elder Abuse Symposium: Designed to help officers provide the best services to senior citizens, this Riverside-based symposium will be followed up with presentations that focus on the Menifee area.

To further enhance and expedite department cohesiveness and camaraderie, Walsh and Sik are organizing team-building exercises as well as the training program — and making sure to rotate partners and working group members throughout the process.

“I’m putting together all these incredible trainings, and we’re going to be doing a lot of team-building exercises,” explains Sik. “We’ll break up into groups, and I’m planning on mixing up those groups, so everyone is really able to get to know each other and get comfortable with who everyone is.”

By the time July 1 arrives, Walsh and Sik are both confident that the first-ever Menifee Police Department will be 60-plus people strong — with an emphasis on strong.

“All of our trainings have been selected to specifically work towards designing a culture where our officers know that while we’re here to take care of the community, our organization is also a community,” says Sik. “And we’re here to support one another.”

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