The Arizona Black Law Enforcement (ABLE) Criminal Justice Conference was recently held at Mesa Community College.
Along with about 19 students from the Phoenix Job Corps Homeland Security Department, Homeland Security Instructors Jason Montijo and Paul Arteche also attended.
“It’s a conference put together for local law enforcement to discuss different topics in the law enforcement community,” says Montijo. “It’s more of an education. This year’s focus was on communication.”
Students from other schools were also at the conference, learning about the criminal justice field.
“They’re educating students on what it’s like to be in law enforcement, the different things they see,” Montijo says. “Students have opportunities to network with people such as Mesa Mayor John Giles, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, members from the Drug Enforcement Association (DEA), judges, a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) representative, lawyers, and assistant police chiefs.” Students had the chance to interact with various vendors, as well.
“We talked about mental health disorders,” adds Montijo. “Students were certified on ‘stop the bleed’ so we did a hands-on learning about tourniquet application. That was taught by a Phoenix Police Officer who has an EMT certification. Students were actually given a combat tourniquet. They are about $20 a piece; however, the students received them for free.”
Treating gunshot wounds was also part of the ‘stop the bleed’ training. “From a law enforcement perspective, it’s a dangerous profession,” says Montijo. “The students hear about the danger, they see it on TV but nobody’s really prepared for it.” The conference is a good opportunity for students to ask themselves if this is really what they want to do.
“So, during the presentation, during the tourniquets, in order to get certified, students had to do all of the hands-on,” explains Montijo. “The chest compression was basically keeping the oxygen and blood flow moving. Part of it was addressing the wound – having the gauze, stuffing the wounds, simulating either a gunshot wound or a deep laceration. The other part of it was applying the tourniquet and they were taught high and tight, as tight as you can get it because that’ll help save somebody’s life. They won’t lose the amount of blood.”
Students were shown real police officer dash cam video footage and saw several police officers being shot in the line of duty. Both officers survived.
First responders are many times police officers since they’re usually first on the scene of a car accident and other tragedies. That’s why it’s important for anyone in law enforcement, including security officers, to know first aide so they can at least keep a person stable until paramedics arrive on the scene.
By Melody Birkett, BCL