Response to shootings: Portland Police’s ‘FIT’ squad begins training

INCLUDES VIDEO | See members of the PPB’s new ‘Focused Intervention Team’ in class, as they prepare to combat shooting violence in outer East Portland …

Here, inside the Portland Police Bureau Training Complex in the Wilkes neighborhood, Members of the long-talked-about, and now-newly-formed, “Focused Intervention Team” trains for their additional duties.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Ever since the dramatic increase in shootings that began in mid-2020 immediately after Mayor Ted Wheeler disbanded the Portland Police Bureau’s (PPB) Gun Violence Reduction Team, he has talked about creating another police unit to quell the rash of shootings.

One year later, on June 4, 2021, Mayor Wheeler announced the formation of the Focused Intervention Team (FIT) – and, along with it, the “Community Oversight Group (COG)”.

These PPB officers are in the second day of the 65 hours of training they’ll receive before hitting the streets about January 15.

Outlining the first aid that FIT members will learn in this class is Officer Zachary Flippo.

In our “Week #77 Shooting Report” last week, we reported the news that the FIT officers would transfer to the unit on January 6, which they did. As the Bureau’s Lt. Nathan Sheppard told us then, “They will immediately begin a specialized training program, which will end on January 15, after which they will be deployed.”

FIT training begins with First Aid
As promised, the FIT officers’ training did begin as scheduled. And, PPB officials invited media to the Portland Police Training Complex to witness a class, held on the morning of January 7.

FIT’s Acting Lieutenant, Sergeant Kenneth Duilio tells about the new unit’s training taking place inside the building, and their new duties.

“In total, we will go through 65 hours of training,” affirmed FIT’s Acting Lieutenant, Sergeant Kenneth Duilio.

He said that that particular day’s training is called TECC: Tactical Emergency Casualty Care; a system of simple-yet-effective stabilizing medical interventions that can be utilized in various emergencies by pre-hospital emergency responders.

These PPB officers take part in hands-on, first aid exercises that may help them save lives at shootings and other trauma incidents.

PPB Public Information Officer Sergeant Kevin Allen filled in some of the other details.

“The FIT will do follow-up investigations and make arrests; they’ll also respond to [shooting] scenes to assist with investigations; but with an eye toward pursuing leads to prevent future shootings,” Sgt. Allen told East Portland News.

Watch this video, and go inside the PPB Training Complex with us to see the PPB FIT in training:

“Additionally, the FIT will pursue leads into who is illegally possessing guns and will attempt intervention in the lives of those who are at-risk,” he added. “They’ll work in partnership with organizations which can get resources to the community members who are at risk of committing, or being the victim of, a gun crime.

“And, while doing all of this, the team will be working directly with the Focused Intervention Team Community Oversight Group, to ensure the legitimacy of their work,” Sgt. Allen concluded.

© 2022 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

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