Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Wednesday, Aug. 3 @ 3:16 p.m. / Emergencies, Local Government

Crescent City Police To Spearhead Threat Recognition, Violent Extremism Training Involving Multiple Agencies

Crescent City Police Chief Richard Griffin told Councilors on Monday that he may ask them to participate in a training exercise on threat recognition and domestic violent extremism to be held at the Flynn Center.

The training hasn’t been scheduled yet, but it will include multiple agencies and will simulate a threat that occurs during a City Council or a Board of Supervisors meeting, Griffin said.

“If something happens here, because of the uniqueness that is a county building inside city limits, if you have a county meeting, the police department’s probably going to be the first response,” he told Councilors. “But then who takes jurisdiction?”

The Crescent City Police Department will spend a total of about $12,732 in Homeland Security Grant Program dollars on both the threat recognition training and the training on suspicious activity reporting “to prevent radicalization and reporting of domestic violent extremism,” according to Griffin’s staff report. That expenditure also includes information and intelligence sharing exercises.

That funding is part of an overall $27,038 CCPD in Homeland Security Grant Program dollars allocated to CCPD for equipment and training. Filtered through the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), a total of about $120,000 came to Del Norte County. A “body of seven,” consisting of CCPD, Crescent Fire & Rescue, the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office and the county Office of Emergency Services, reviewed grant applications and decided how to allocate those dollars.

CCPD will also spend about $5,500 in FY 2019 Public Safety Power Shutoff Resiliency Allocation dollars on two inverter generators, Griffin told Councilors.

Four members of the Crescent City Council on Monday accepted the grant dollars. Mayor Jason Greenough was absent.

Griffin told Councilors that the threat recognition and domestic violence extremism training exercises will include multiple agencies such as the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office, the California Highway Patrol and Pelican Bay State Prison’s Corrections Emergency Response Team. The training event will also include how to interpret information, he said.

“It’s really looking at not just the event that happens, but, OK, the event’s over now we have a crime scene (and) we also have potential victims,” Griffin said.

Griffin brought up the June 10 lockdown at Crescent Elk Middle School that occurred as a precaution to a threat of two students possibly coming on campus to shoot someone. That threat turned out to be false, he said, but it was one of many examples of local emergency responders working together.

“I was standing side by side with Sheriff (Garrett) Scott — one of his first weeks in office — a few sergeants from CHP… nobody saw any patches,” he told Councilors. “We don’t see that here. We’re going to respond, we’re going to take care of the threat and we’ll figure out jurisdiction afterwards. It’s always been that way.”

In an emergency, law enforcement from the National Park Service and California State Parks will show up, Griffin said, as will Del Norte County Probation.

“We live here, we grow our kids here too,” he said.

CCPD also proposed using Homeland Security Grant Program dollars to purchase individual first-aid kits, three automated external defibrillators for patrol vehicles, two forward-looking infrared devices and a drone.

According to Griffin, the infrared devices and the drone will help with Search & Rescue responses to the jetty, which is in city limits, though CCPD isn’t trained for that type of rescue.

Griffin said he thought the drone would also come in handy when the next tsunami hits Crescent City.

Since a drone falls under the heading of military equipment, under the police department’s military equipment use policy, its purchase will be posted for public review and brought before the City Council for approval, Griffin said.

Griffin also included $4,665 for the purchase of non-lethal training equipment. These are replica AR-15s and replica Glock pistols that search .43 paintballs, he said.

“What this allows us to do is force on force training,” Griffin told Councilors. “I’m already working with one of the local CHP officers who puts on the local active shooter training so we can get back into compliance or stay in compliance with our training.”

As for the generators, Griffin said he was considering purchasing two 10,000 watt Predator generators from harbor Freight. These can also be used during a tsunami or other emergency where the electricity goes out.

Griffin also mentioned Surf Apartments, a senior housing facility with residents who may have medical devices in need of backup power.


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