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NEWS | Jan. 22, 2014

Working together: Security Forces partners with local police departments

By Staff Sgt. Wesley Farnsworth 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The 633rd Security Forces Squadron and the city of Hampton Police Department work together to help ensure safety of the citizens living and working around Langley Air Force Base and the city of Hampton.

Members of the 633rd SFS work with local police departments to ensure proper support and training is foremost when a need arises for them to work together.

"It's proven time and time again that you respond how you train," said Sergeant Jason Price, Hampton Police Department public information officer. "By training together, we [learn] how each other works so when something happens, we are a well-oiled machine."

Some recent training exercises included a simulated F-22 crash inside the Hampton city limits, as well as an active shooter exercise at Langley.

In addition to major training exercises, the two departments are able to help each other attain training and certifications needed to perform their job.

"The [Hampton police] are able to help train and certify our personnel on things like the Virginia International Criminal Network and the Intox (breathalyzer) system which both require a state certification," said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Shannon Richardson, 633rd SFS police services patrolman.

Price agreed with Richardson's sentiments saying that the training is a two-way street.

"Not only are we able to help with training, but Langley returns the favor with training and exercises for large scale operations like terrorism drills that may otherwise outreach what our normal capabilities are," said Price.

The joint-training ensures a good working relationship between the 633rd SFS and Hampton Police.

"Because we have such a good working relationship, we are able to [get to know] the people working on base," Price said. "We know exactly who we need to call when we need support and what to expect when [that] that call [is placed] which in a real-world situation will make a big difference."

According to Price and Richardson, there have been times when Hampton and 633rd SFS have put the training and working relationship to use.

"There was a time when we had to call on the [military working dogs] to help us sweep a local high-school after a credible bomb threat call," said Price. "Having that relationship with the unit, was extremely beneficial because it allowed us to sweep the school at an accelerated pace allowing the students return to class in a timely manner."

Without the support of local police departments, some tasks would seem almost impossible, said Richardson.

"When we have an Airshow or a security incident at the gate, Hampton is always quick to respond and help us where we need it," Richardson said. "They are able to control traffic and perform security measures until additional help arrives."

At the end of the day, when the training is complete and calls have been answered, all agree the goal of the two departments is to ensure citizens who live and work around Langley have security.