Coast Guard Provides Interagency Law Enforcement Training

LEMONT, Ill. – Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago provided training to a group of local, state and federal agency law enforcement partners on Oct. 24.

MSU Chicago kicked-off the training by viewing a video on commercial vessel nomenclature and terminology, then moved out to the dock for some hands-on experience. Rogers provided information on typical arrangements, the function of the equipment, and standard operations from an industry perspective. Most of the discussion revolved around plausible scenarios and agency response capabilities.

The training focused on commercial and recreational vessel orientation and included time aboard a freight and oil barge and cabin cruiser. Cmdr. Paul Mehler III, MSU Chicago Commanding Officer, saw a need for this training in order to better prepare first responders along the Chicago lakefront and river system for a higher level of Anti-Terrorism Force Protection readiness and to collectively respond to criminal activities on the waterways.

Chief Warrant Officer Steve Wilkinson headed up the training, while an industry representative from American Commercial Lines, Randy Rogers, provided the industry expertise.

“Almost as important as the training was the opportunity to network and get to know people from the different agencies that we will be working alongside far into the future,”said Chief Warrant Officer Steve Wilkinson. “Interaction like this opens lines of communication and leads to greater information sharing between us.”

Representatives from the Secret Service, Customs and Border Protection, Environmental Protection Agency, Illinois State Police, were in attendance to board and become familiar with the outlay and arrangements of the vessels that commonly transit the Chicago area.

Plans were set in motion to expand upon the training and to include more federal, state and local agencies.

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