Law enforcement officers assemble in Mitchell for traffic stop training

MITCHELL – Law enforcement officers from throughout Indiana assembled at the historic Mitchell Opera House in Mitchell, Indiana, to take part in training aimed at keeping them safe while conducting traffic stops.

Bruce Parent, an instructor with American Public Safety Training Services, LLC, said keeping officers safe is his passion after losing his training partner in a fatal shooting in 1999. He was helping conduct free, high-quality training to approximately 65 law enforcement officers Monday morning at the Mitchell Opera House.

“Conducting Complete Traffic Stops,” is a two-day training program, offered as a partnership between MAGLOCLEN (Middle Atlantic Great Lakes Organized Crime Law Enforcement Network), The United States Attorney’s Office Southern District Indiana, and the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office with funding by the Northeast Counterdrug Training Center.

 A laptop screen displays statistics related to how many officers have been killed in the line of duty so far in 2021. Many of those, Parent said, are related to traffic stops.

The goal, according to Michael Snider, law enforcement coordinator for MAGLOCLEN, is to bring high-quality, free training to law enforcement officers, particularly those with limited training budgets in small, rural communities.

“We spread these around the state, focusing on the goal of getting training available in rural areas, where it’s not readily available,” Snider said. “Sam was gracious enough to say that he’d love for the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office to host one in Lawrence County for the officers in Lawrence and the surrounding counties.”

Participants of “Conducting Complete Traffic Stops” listen as Parent explains the best way to conduct a traffic stop.

Approximately 65 law enforcement officers from throughout Indiana, as well as one from as far away as Pennsylvania, are attending the instruction. This training program is being led by some of the top experts in the field, including Bruce Parent, an instructor from Lutts, Tenn., who works with American Public Safety Training Services, LLC.

“We’re the first line of defense in getting drugs, guns and bad guys off the streets,” Parent said. “Officers are out there, day after day, keeping their communities safe. Our job is to keep them safe in the process.”

In the foreground, Mitchell Police Officer Zach Bowles listens as a participant of a two-day training program, offered as a partnership between MAGLOCLEN (Middle Atlantic Great Lakes Organized Crime Law Enforcement Network), The United States Attorney’s Office Southern District Indiana, and the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office with funding by the Northeast Counterdrug Training Center.

Parent, who lost his training partner in 1999 when Capt. Robbie Bishop was shot in the head, is passionate about keeping law enforcement officers safe in the line of duty. As he pointed out during the training session, as of Aug. 15, the United States has already had 199 officers killed in the line of duty this year. Of those 199 officers killed, 88 were related to traffic stops. Shootings alone account for 57 deaths.

“This is my passion,” Parent said. “We want to do everything in our power to keep officers safe. Education and training are an important part of that.”

Approximately 65 law enforcement officers are attending a two-day training session at the historic Mitchell Opera House on “Conducting Complete Traffic Stops.”

Training opportunities, such as the one being offered Monday and Tuesday in Mitchell, can cost departments and municipalities as much as $400 in registration fees alone, not including time off, mileage, lodging, and food, according to Snider.

“Getting free, high-quality training close to home is difficult,” Snider said. “That’s the value of this program.”

The men and women who attended the training at the Mitchell Opera House are eligible for credit through the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, a continuing education requirement for police officers, making the course not only free but accredited.

Arp, who was an Indiana State Police Trooper before he suffered a career-ending injury in a traffic-related accident said being able to help provide this training to law enforcement officers throughout the area is crucial in supporting the dangerous job they do each day.

Police vehicles filled the adjoining parking lot near the Mitchell Opera House Monday morning.

“If we can provide just one piece of information that helps save the life of a law enforcement officer, then we’ve done our job,” Arp said. “Too many of our officers are being killed in the line of duty. It’s a dangerous, thankless job. As I know all too well, when you put on that uniform and step into that car, you never know what you’ll encounter out on the road. We want to support the work our law enforcement partners are doing, and this training collaboration is just one way we can do that.”

“I appreciate the NCTC, MAGLOCLEN, and The United States Attorney’s Office for coming to Lawrence County and providing this valuable opportunity to our officers.”

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