According to WLTX, Operation Blue included the participation of ten different law enforcement agencies in the Palmetto State, including one officer each from the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department, Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Kershaw County Sheriff’s Department, Horry County Sheriff’s Department, City of Columbia Police Department, South Carolina Highway Patrol, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, and the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, meanwhile, sent two officers to take part in the training.
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Gamut Resolutions founder and Operation Blue lead instructor Robert Keller, who’s also spent nearly two decades in the U.S. Army’s Special Operations, told FOX57 that many LEOs don’t have the time or money to devote to regular gun training.
“I am here to sharpen those perishable skills that law enforcement officers acquire when we first come on to the job,” said Keller. “After a while, if you don’t use those skills, you kind of get rusty.”
“By being able to do that, these officers are now going to be better prepared on the streets,” Fernando Coelho, President & CEO of Panteao Productions, which hosted Operation Blue at its facility in Swansea, told WLTX. “If they’re in a situation where they have to make a split second decision, they’re going to be able to do it confidently, with accuracy and control.”
WLTX says the officers who participated in the two-day Operation Blue event received both handgun and carbine training.
“In a situation where we have to use deadly force, we want to make sure that those rounds go where they need to be,” said Trobathian Johnson from the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.
“Our first line of defense are these police officers,” Coelho added. “They need the best training possible so that they can go home to their loved ones and they can protect us.”
Coelho told WLTX he hopes to host more Operation Blue events going forward.