“Now officers, come up here and grab a pair of handcuffs,” said Officer Bon Stewart to a class of 18 students. Stewart along with Officer Aaron Roscas, who both teach defense tactics out of the Ashland Police Department, were about to begin an hour long defense training session with the students.
As police officers their duty is to not only answer calls but also help to refresh the training of other cops. “We’re just trying to introduce [students] to it,” said Stewart. “For cops, though, we’re reminding them the right way to do things.”
This hour-long seminar in which students learned the escort hold, the proper way to use handcuffs, take down moves, and jabs, was part of a much bigger event. The 16th annual SOU Criminology Club SOU Lock-in offered students the opportunity to work with criminal justice professionals and participate in a number of training simulation scenarios. There were eight different classes offered throughout the day, and students had the option of participating in a total of five.
“Personally, the two scenarios made my heart race,” said freshman Alyssa Moutatson. “After you get into it, you kind of forget that you are in just in a simulation, and it helps to show people what law enforcement really has to go through when making one of the toughest decisions that they have to make in their careers.”
Moutatson had previously done a Shoot/ Don’t Shoot scenario with Adjunct Professor Tiffany Morey before, but she had never used the MILO system that police departments use specifically to train their officers. “The MILO system was a huge benefit in and of itself, due to the fact that each scenario is unique, and adds a new perspective to each police shooting,” she said. Moutsan, who is interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement thought that the day was a great look into what might one day be her future.
Before they began, Officer Jason Anthony, who ran the MILO simulation, instructed students: “put yourself in the role of a police officer.” This, of course, is easier said than done.
After students ran through the simulation, he critiqued their attempts with comments like, “we want to give people verbal commands,” and “what you want to do is address him and address him loudly.”
While some students did well in the scenarios, many used what the program called “lethal force” a message which popped up on the screen when the student shot without the suspect having “intent, means, or opportunity.” Anthony recognized that these are just students, but said, “I expect better shot tactics, shot placement, and verbal commands.”
Another first time Crim Lock-in participant was Erika Arellanes. “I loved how ‘hands-on’ most of the courses were. Officers did not sugar coat anything about what their job entails.” She found the Jail Booking course most beneficial as she plans to go into corrections. “I was able to really see what the job is like, as well as what types of things inmates do,” she said.
The head of the criminology, David E. Carter, is the one who contacted the different departments and decided on what activities the day would offer. He has picked up the program where the last department chair, Lee Ayers, left off. Ayers started this Lock-in 16 years ago. It has since become more streamlined to be more convenient for both students and officers.
Carter appreciates getting to put this on every year especially because of what it means to the students. “They get some hands on experience, they really do enjoy it.”
The following agencies from all over the valley volunteered their time to come to SOU to participate in the event: Medford Police Department, Ashland Police Department, Grants Pass Police Department, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Central Point Police Department, Oregon State Police. Some of them were SOU alums and had themselves taken part in the lock-in.