U.S. Attorney Speaks at Charleston Conference on High Risk Incidents, Emerging Threats

Updated 6 years ago From a Release by U.S. Attorney's Office for Southern District of WV

CHARLESTON,  W.Va. – United States Attorney Booth Goodwin today delivered opening remarks to  150 West Virginia law enforcement officers during the Preventing Violence Against Law Enforcement and Ensuring Officer  Resilience and Survivability (VALOR) training conference held at the  Charleston Town Center Marriott Hotel.   VALOR is a Department of Justice initiative that offers a variety of  resources to law enforcement officers, including technical assistance, data on  emerging threats, and tactical training to help assess and confront high-risk  situations like ambush-style assaults.

“The VALOR training program has been recognized by  many professionals in the law enforcement community as one of the country’s top  training seminars and I’m pleased to co-host such a significant event here in  the Southern District,” said Goodwin.

As part of the U.S. Attorney General’s Officer  Safety Initiative, VALOR was created to respond to a nationwide increase in  assaults that have taken the lives of law enforcement officers.  In both 2010 and 2011, record numbers  of American law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty.  Last  year, according to statistics maintained by the National Law Enforcement  Officers Memorial Fund, a total of 177 federal, state, and local law  enforcement officers lost their lives in the line of duty – a 16 percent  increase over 2010. 

Goodwin noted that one officer casualty in the line  of duty is one too many.  “Keeping law  enforcement officers safe is paramount.   Each day, our men and women in uniform are faced with extremely  dangerous situations.  It is essential  that they receive the finest training and cutting-edge technology and resources  that we have available,” said Goodwin.  

Wednesday’s  VALOR training featured instruction from law enforcement specialists with broad  experience in threat assessment.   Conference participants were provided with various techniques and tools  to better prepare them for potential violent encounters.  Attendees were also provided with tools to  increase their ability to identify concealed weapons, as well as instruction on  how to approach high-risk tactical situations that may involve active  shooters. 

Goodwin  also said that the tragedy that took place in Aurora, Colo., less than a week  ago emphasizes the importance of law enforcement training and  preparedness.  “Our thoughts and prayers  continue to be with the families of the victims and survivors of the Aurora  shooting tragedy.”  Goodwin continued,  “When an unspeakable tragedy unfolds, we rely heavily on the skills,  decision-making and bravery of our first responders.  That is what makes training courses such as  VALOR so important.”

The  conference was co-hosted by the United States Attorneys’ Office for the  Southern and Northern Districts of West Virginia and sponsored by the U.S.  Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance.  The Regional Organized Crime Information  Center and the West Virginia Department of Justice and Community Services also  served as co-hosts of the training session.   For more information on the VALOR training initiative, please visit: http://www.valorforblue.org/Home.

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