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Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles Regional Maritime Law Enforcement Training Center Expanding Partnerships & Opportunities with FLETC

Partnership History

The safety and security of America’s ports and waterways have always been important, but they’ve become an even greater concern due to the ongoing threat of terrorism. In addition to putting lives and property at risk, the successful terrorist could impact our Nation’s economy by disrupting a major port or waterway.

Law enforcement agencies have been working diligently to improve their effectiveness at combatting terrorism. When grant funding was available, they added, upgraded and/or replaced their facilities, vessels, and equipment. However, many agencies continue to suffer budget cutbacks, and since grant funding rarely covers personnel costs, most remain focused on minimizing staff reductions. Training budgets were not immune and continue to be severely impacted as well. Furthermore, there was limited availability of maritime training for local law enforcement.

In 2009, the Los Angeles Port Police Department partnered with the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC), the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Long Beach Police Department to develop comprehensive maritime training for state and local agencies. The first result of this collaboration was the Basic Maritime Officer’s Course, a challenging two-week program certified by California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training. The Los Angeles Regional Maritime Law Enforcement Training Center (MLETC) offered its first Basic Maritime Officer’s Course in April 2011, and has run nearly 30 more since then, all receiving rave reviews from students.

On February 26, 2014, FLETC Director Connie Patrick signed a Memorandum of Understanding between FLETC and MLETC. The purpose of the MOU is to establish a cooperative relationship between FLETC and MLETC “to develop training standards and strategies for the protection of America’s waterways and ports, provide access to a law enforcement marine training facility, and provide law enforcement training opportunities for federal, state, local, tribal, and other law enforcement agencies.” Pursuant to the MOU, FLETC also assigned a Senior Instructor/Regional Training Coordinator to the MLETC.

With an MOU and a Regional Coordinator in place, the synergy between FLETC and MLETC and the Los Angeles Regional Maritime Law Enforcement Training Center is even stronger. FLETC’s State, Local, & Tribal Division is better positioned to provide a wide variety of fast, flexible, and focused training to the law enforcement professionals who protect our homeland.

As a direct result of the successful partnership between FLETC and MLETC students now enjoy a west coast venue for a host of exportable courses, including the Law Enforcement First Responder and Active Shooter Threat training programs.

Setting

The beautifully renovated MLETC is located within the Port of Los Angeles, also known as “America’s Port.” The Los Angeles/Long Beach port complex processes thousands of ships every year, containing hundreds of billions of dollars in merchandise and representing more than 46% of the goods shipped to America.

In addition to the commercial vessel traffic, the ports are home to several recreational marinas, waterside restaurants and shopping, and the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach. The beautiful Santa Catalina Island, located approximately 26 miles southwest of the port, is a popular tourist spot and the only one of the eight Channel Islands to be inhabited. Needless to say, the environment offers an endless array of training opportunities for maritime students.

The construction of the training center, as well as the purchase of the training vessels and equipment, was made possible through Department of Homeland Security Port Security Grants. The design of the facility and selection of the training platforms were also a collaborative effort.

The Maritime Center staff called upon their considerable maritime experience, as well as their visits to the FLETC Glynco and Charleston sites, and their close relationship with Glynco’s Marine Training Branch staff, to assist them with classroom layout and equipment selection.

The primary training vessel is a 28-foot center console manufactured by the same company selected to replace the U.S. Coast Guard’s Response Boat Small fleet.

They feature aluminum hulls, solid foam collars, fully integrated navigation systems, shock mitigating seats, and are powered by twin Honda 225-horsepower outboards. In addition, the training center has two 28-foot Rigid Inflatable Boats for use as adversary platforms.

Training Programs

The Basic Maritime Officer’s Course has generated a great deal of interest among local, state, and federal agencies, and the enthusiasm has not been limited to law enforcement. The Maritime Center staff worked with local fire departments to deliver 40-hour boat operator courses for their fireboat crews. They’ve also worked with the U.S. Army’s Civil Support Group to assist them with their maritime mission readiness effort.

The Basic Maritime Officer’s Course is based on FLETC’s four-week Marine Law Enforcement Training Program and effectively bridges the gap between that program and the week-long Inland Boat Operator Training Program. Consequently, FLETC is evaluating the Basic Maritime Officer’s Course for inclusion into its course catalog.

In addition to the locally developed courses, FLETC is now offering the Boat Operator Anti-Terrorism Training and Electronic Navigation Training Program at the MLETC. The courses are being taught by local law enforcement instructors who’ve been fully trained and certified by FLETC.

Staff

The MLETC has been fortunate to attract, select, and retain some of the finest instructors from the Los Angeles Port Police, Los Angeles Police Department, Long Beach Police Department, San Diego Harbor Police, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. These well respected maritime law enforcement professionals not only possess the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities, but they have a true passion for sharing it with their students.

Additional Information

For more information about training at the LA Port:
Call 1-800-743-5382 or email us at stateandlocaltraining@dhs.gov.

300 E. Water Street
Wilmington, CA 90720