This ongoing feature provides information on free resources accessible to first responder departments nationwide. This includes training, equipment, and funding opportunities that focus on rural and small to midsize communities.
VALOR for Blue Program
In response to an increase in ambush-style assaults against members of law enforcement, the VALOR program was created with the goal of “preventing violence against law enforcement and ensuring officer resilience and survivability.” The program is operated by the Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR) through a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance; its main objective of enhancing tactical awareness is also a part of the Bureau’s Officer Safety and Wellness Initiative. VALOR focuses on providing instruction in survival and threat identification to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies, with courses offered in-person and online.
The organization offers two primary types of training that incorporate high-risk and emerging threats. The VALOR series includes one- and two-day events geared toward “anticipating and surviving violent encounters.” The Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Trainings (ALERRT), provided in collaboration with the program at Texas State University, cover terrorism response tactics, including active shooter and rural area operations. Both types of courses include a two-day “train the trainer” component to promote a long-lasting and accessible resource for departments.
Two trainings are currently scheduled for September:
• September 13th: VALOR Training, Auburn, Maine – This free event will be hosted by the Maine Chiefs of Police Association, and is open to sworn state, local, and tribal law enforcement personnel.
• September 24th to 25th: VALOR Training, Coolidge, Arizona – This free training is hosted by the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, and cohosted by Pinal County Law Enforcement Association. It is targeted to state, local, and tribal law enforcement trainers who focus on any component of officer safety.
Registration for both events is available on the site along with its full description. A map of the trainings offered in 2011 and 2012 may be found here, and as programs are added they will be listed in Upcoming Events.
VALOR also offers additional resources promoting officer safety through its website. This includes select publications by members of law enforcement and affiliated agencies that are meant to supplement the training provided. This list includes a range of materials related to safety and situational awareness, such as violence toward off-duty officers, extremist groups, and handling active shooter scenarios. The site also includes a link section with additional resources and news page, which documents incidents involving officer injuries and fatalities. The Safety Toolkit features funding resources, a bulletproof vest acquisition program, officers’ benefits, and training resources.