|Senior police leadership personnel from Fort McCoy met
with agency counterparts from the surrounding communities at the
installation Aug. 13 to further develop collaborative efforts to support
each other’s missions and training needs. Each of the participating
departments takes a turn hosting the quarterly meeting.
Terry Hoff, Fort McCoy Range officer, gives a tour of Range 1 to
members of local law-enforcement agencies.
(Photo by Rob Schuette)
Fort McCoy Directorate of Emergency Services Director Mark Fritsche,
Chief of Police Rob Stapel and Training Officer Sgt. Alex Rivera-Torres
hosted the McCoy event. Garrison Commander Col. Steven W. Nott and
Garrison Command Sergeant Major Command Sgt. Maj. William T. Bissonette
Jr., also attended the event to show command support and answer
The meeting agenda addressed mutual training interests, training
facilities available at Fort McCoy, and how Fort McCoy could support
area law-enforcement training requests.
A tour and site visit to several training areas/facilities was presented
by Terry Hoff, installation Range officer.
Fritsche said the installation Police Department also holds regular
training, so if agencies only need to train a small number of personnel
they can schedule the training along with the Fort McCoy Police
Department. This allows the department to provide full capacity for
ranges during the training.
“We can offer many training opportunities here,” Rivera-Torres said. “We
have been holding training at convenient times for our three shifts so
we can accommodate training at convenient times for your personnel, as
Stapel said he appreciated the number of agencies in attendance. The
Wisconsin State Patrol, the Tomah and Sparta Police Departments, the
Monroe County Sherriff’s Office and the Tomah Veterans Affairs (VA)
Medical Center Police Department, among others, were represented.
Monroe County, Sparta, Tomah and Fort McCoy law-enforcement agencies
will be planning scenario-based training events to address
active-shooter responses, a current hot-button issue, he said.
Terry Hoff, Fort McCoy Range officer, gives a tour of the
Combined Arms Collective Training Facility to members of local
(Photo by Rob Schuette)
“There’s a lot we can learn from your agencies about how you approach
situations,” Stapel said. “Hopefully, there’s a lot you can learn from
us as well.”
Bissonette said the meeting was an effort to help bring the relationship
between Fort McCoy and the surrounding communities from one of community
relationships to community interaction. To help forward that objective,
Bissonette and Nott previously met with the different law-enforcement
organizations in their cities.
“This is the first collective event of this type we’ve had as a
community and I expect it won’t be the last one,” he said.
Fort McCoy offers excellent training opportunities, such as the use of
the Live Fire Shoot House, the Mobile Urban Training Sites and special
reaction threat forces training, among others.
Bissonette noted that although the ranges and training facilities are
busy during peak training months, which includes the exercise season,
the availability of training areas is more open outside of those time
“You can use the ranges for nonstandard uses, as well, and do whatever
you want to do with imagination and safety as your only limits,” Nott
said. “Remember what you see today is an infinitesimal piece of what you
can do here.”
Hoff explained the use of the installation’s state-of-the-art ranges
during a range tour.
The installation provides maintenance people when the ranges are in use
to help address any mechanical problems if they occur with the targetry
or to help determine other training avenues to accomplish the mission.
“Each range has standard facilities, such as classrooms, latrines,
towers, ammunition buildings, etc., to support training needs,” Hoff
Lt. Paul D. Matl of the Wisconsin State Patrol District Office in Tomah
said he was familiar with the installation facilities and training
capabilities as he served with the Wisconsin State Patrol Academy at
Fort McCoy and has shared his knowledge with fellow troopers at Tomah.
Pete Quirin, the Monroe County sheriff, said the opportunities to target
training to the various shifts would work well for his department
because it is hard to get everyone together at the same time.
Police Chief Roberto V. Obong of the Tomah VA Medical Center said it’s a
good opportunity for the various departments to benefit from exchanging
information and experiences from the schools and other training that
officers with each department have attended.
“We need more hands-on training together so we’re all on the same page,”
he said. “If I’m sure of the support I have and don’t have to look in
back of me, I can focus my efforts on what’s in front of me.”
In addition to work, Fritsche said the departments also can build
camaraderie by attending events together, such as the Countywide
Law-Enforcement Picnic held on Aug. 12 and the Directorate of Family and
Morale, Welfare and Recreation golf tournament at Wyeville Sept. 14.