Career Center innovates for WPD training

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry City of Warren Police accept two shooting range barricades from the Warren County Career Center Building Construction Occupations students who built them. Pictured (from left) are: Officer Wade Suppa, Dylan Sorensen, Dale Sheets, Tyson Morrison, Paul Swanson, and Officer Andreu Foriska.

In a firefight, police officers are generally behind something, rather than standing up in the open.

To help City of Warren Police better practice realistic situations, the Warren County Career Center Building Construction Occupations class built three Viking Tactics barricades.

“The City of Warren Police Department would like to thank Warren County Career Center Building Construction class for making the barricades,” Officer Wade Suppa said. “The barricade is designed to give shooters an easy, range-worthy training tool that can be used frequently to help develop the ability to overcome and adapt to shooting from awkward positions.”

“Twenty years ago, law enforcement would stand there and shoot at a target,” Suppa said. “We’re trying to change that.”

The department discovered the usefulness of the barricades when he and another officer went to rifle instructor school.

“We used them and found out how useful they were,” Suppa said. “The purpose is to prevent and break up the range theatrics of shooting on the range.”

“It’s like shooting off of a patrol vehicle,” he said. “The barricades mimic different heights and positions starting with the roof of the vehicle and working your way down to shooting under the vehicle.”

The department has partnered with career center programs in the past.

Teacher Greg Waterman had his class fit in the community project over about two weeks.

“It was nice that we could work with the police department and do something for the community outside of the school,” Waterman said.

The class built the first barricade in the fall and the department has already used it.

“One of the barriers has already been used in assisting with firearms training,” Suppa said. “We used it for fall qualifying.”

Building the second and third barricades was easier than the first. “The most challenging part was coming up with measurements,” Waterman said. “All we had was a picture.”

Having two more allows for competitive training exercises.

“The barricades are extremely operational, easy to transport, will be used often, and are greatly appreciated by the City of Warren Police Department,” Suppa said.