By Steve Woodhouse
Knoxville — Officers with the Knoxville and Pella Police Departments will join Marion County Sheriff Jason Sandholdt and four of his deputies at an active shooter training event in Toledo this weekend.
The Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) program is open to all law enforcement, corrections and military personnel in good standing with their units. There is no cost to these officers' departments, as funding is provided by Congressman Tom Latham.
Sandholdt said he would like to have all of his deputies trained for emergencies such as this. There are three deputies who have already gone through the training, including Chief Deputy Troy Fisher and deputies Matt Boender and Brian Bigaouette. Lt. Justin Kingery and deputies Jake Smith, D.J. Reed and Troy Bouma are attending this weekend's training with Sandholdt.
"I would rather have the training and not have the need, than to need the training and not have it," Sandholdt said. By attending the training with officers from Knoxville and Pella, it will allow for a better response, should the need arise.
"It brings consistency among our response," Sandholdt said.
Attending the training from the KPD will be Lt. Aaron Fuller. Pella officers attending include Lt. Paul Haase and officers Shawn Veenstra, Matt Huston and Brett Haupert.
Sandholdt is still transitioning into the office after being sworn in on Tuesday. He has been busy and says the process is going well. Everyone within the office has been very welcoming. Sandholdt met with the Reserve Deputies last night. One of his goals is to eventually increase the number of Reserve Deputies. There are currently 11.