Submitted by FLETC Public Affairs Office
This summer nearly 175 mall executives, mall security directors, and local law enforcement officers and leaders gathered to participate in the inaugural Private-Public Partnership Academy (PPPA) at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia.
FLETC collaborated with the National Protection and Preparedness Directorate (NPPD) and private sector stakeholders to plan this first-of-its-kind training event at FLETC. The PPPA brought together three distinct groups to participate in training pertinent to securing public venues, with a broader goal of improving coordination, security, and resiliency across traditional public and private sector areas of responsibility.
The pilot PPA featured training in topics applicable to all segments of the audience, and the planners tailored the training to address both public and private sector roles and responsibilities in securing commercial facilities.
Training in topics such as terrorism awareness, weapons of mass destruction, improvised explosive devices, leadership in a crisis, special event security planning, and tactical medical culminated with a final practical exercise, during which four teams competed to identify threat indicators during a large-scale event.
FLETC collaborated with NPPD’s Federal Protective Service to inject simulated “threats” into a FLETC-wide event open to all staff. For example, they staged a suspicious package, a person wearing unseasonable clothing, a role player handing out literature indicative of his association with domestic terrorism, an abandoned vehicle containing suspicious materials, and a role player conducting video surveillance with a smart phone. Afterwards, FLETC instructors led them through a de-briefing to discuss the injected threats and their responsibilities during an actual event.
Participant feedback indicated that one of the greatest values of the PPPA was learning about others’ roles, which leads to improved coordination during emergent situations. Additionally, participants observed that the PPPA underscored the private and public sectors’ collective responsibility in ensuring safety and security.
Looking to the future, FLETC is considering how it can replicate this experience for additional private and public sector stakeholders, potentially in other sub-sectors besides commercial facilities. Through the inaugural PPPA, FLETC concretely incorporated the private sector into the work it does every day to advance training excellence through partnerships.