©1999 - 2013
Edward D. Reuss
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The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) hosted a two day seminar entitled:
“Leading from the Front: Weapons of Mass Destruction Awareness for the Law Enforcement Executive.  
I attended this seminar and was fortunate to meet many police executives from the New Jersey State Police, the New Jersey State National Guard, and local law enforcement jurisdictions of New Jersey.  I also met Sergeant Keith Taylor, Office of Management, Analysis, and Planning, NYPD.

                                     Major Don Ponikvar, US Army (ret), Sgt Keith Taylor, NYPD, Director Michael Morrissey

The IACP hosted the seminar which was presented by the Michigan State University School of Criminal Justice.  The Director, Michael Morrissey, has excellent credentials in the field of law enforcement. He is a retired Agent, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) and now directs the program for Michigan State University.   The seminar ranged from the history and nature of terrorism and an introduction to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), to the planning, prevention, and response to incidents of WMD. The seminar consisted of eight modules that included table top exercises that tested the knowledge of the police executives in simulated disaster scenarios. The table top exercises included response to weapons of mass destruction (WMD); implementation of the Incident Command System; and the Unified Command of multi-jurisdictional agencies during large critical incidents. Director Morrissey was assisted by IACP Iinstructors including Major Don Ponikvar, US Army (ret) , who retired from the US Army after 24 years. Major Ponikvar, a West Point graduate, also instructed at West Point.  He served in Armor, and also in the US Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE). His in-depth knowledge in this area was obvious to all in attendance.

Harry W. Rilling , Chief of Police, Norwalk Police Department,  worked with Major Ponikvar in the presentations. Chief Rilling displayed a professionalism and knowledge of police work and explained in clear terms just how police executives could train and prepare their agencies for threats of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.     L.to R. Capt Edward Reuss, NYPD (Ret), Chief of Police Harry Rilling, Norwalk, Conn. PD
Chief Rilling’s professional experience and expertise in working with the community was an education for us all.

As a retired member of the New York City Police Department (NYPD),  I rarely had the opportunity to discuss common policing issues with members of local police agencies. I could see the value of such seminars that included such various policing jurisdictions.  I sat next to Lieutenant Robert Hahn, Rutger’s University Police, Newark Campus
                                           L.to R. Ed Reuss with Lt Robert Hahn, Rutger’s University Police, Newark Campus

The New Jersey police agencies have recognized the necessity of formulating cooperative agreements with county, state, and federal agencies.  Mutual Aid agreements between police agencies within the same geographical location with written memoranda of understanding are an established procedure. These smaller police agencies have learned by experience just how necessary such agreements have become.  When large incidents involving many jurisdictions occur, they have gained valuable lessons in actual practice. Inter-agency conflicts have been minimized by training with multi-agencies using the Incident Command System.  The use of the concept of Unified Command is well known by these agencies. The role of the public information officer in the Unified Command structure was examined in depth.

     L.toR. Sgt Keith Taylor, OMAP, NYPD, Chief Sidoran, IACP, and Ed Reuss

Jack Sidoran, IACP, also assisted in the presentation of the two day seminar. Chief Sidoran was a police chief in three cities during his career and it showed when he opened the seminar and assisted with the table top exercises.

L.to R Ed Reuss, Sgt Keith Taylor, Major Don Ponikvar, US Army (ret)

For those interested in attending this seminar in future presentations, go to the web site of the International Association of Chiefs of Police



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