ECSO Explorers participate in Advanced Explorer Academy


ELLIS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Johnny Brown, Sheriff

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

ECSO Explorers participate in Advanced Explorer Academy

Waxahachie, Texas – Sept. 11, 2015

Among the summer’s highlights for Explorers with the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Post was their participation in the first Advanced Explorer Academy hosted by the Sheriff’s Office and the Colleyville, Coppell and Irving Police departments.

The five-day training saw 20 Explorers who completed the 2014 Basic Explorer Academy take part. Of these, 11 Explorers represented the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office.

“It was an absolute success,” Sheriff’s Office Deputy and Lead Advisor Jeff Prater said. “The kids love it. It was 100-percent a success.”

On the first day, the Explorers developing their skills in making first contact, with the afternoon spent working on their defense and takedown skills against an instructor wearing Redman protective gear. The second day saw the Explorers participate in an active shooter training that incorporated Simunition (simulated ammunition). The training was held at the Texas Army National Guard facility in Irving and taught by Irving PD’s SWAT officers.

The third day was a 12-hourlong training scenario that began with an anonymous call reporting a bomb threat and ended with the Explorers addressing a suicide bomber threat at Coppell City Hall.

“The kids thought the third day was the best session,” Prater said. “We divided the Explorers into five different squads and assigned a chief and second in command to run the command post.

“Throughout the day, they worked the intelligence they were gathering while also having to take other calls we had built into the scenario,” he said. “Some of the calls related to the overall scenario; some were bogus. They had to question suspects, figure out that we had supplied them with fake IDs and do surveillance.

“They were putting the pieces of the puzzle together and then we added in an officer-involved shooting,” Prater said. “ATF helped us out and we had a real judge who reviewed the Explorers’ warrants and kept rejecting them until they got them right” by having the correct probable cause in their warrants.

The training scenario ended at about 8 p.m. when the Explorers identified their suspect and converged on City Hall, where they used their negotiating skills to talk the suicide bomber into surrendering.

“The kids thought this was the greatest scenario ever,” Prater said. “We’ll have to come up with something special to keep them on their toes next year.”

The fourth day saw the Explorers took part in an all-day ropes-type course challenge on the fourth day before wrapping up their week on the fifth day with a full day spent at the gun range. About half of the Explorers qualified for the Learning for Life Firearms Expert Shooter Award during the academy.

ECSO Explorer Trevor Snodgress received the Top Shot Award; ECSO Explorer Lt. Gage Adams won the 3-Gun Match Award.

Prater said the agencies plan to continue hosting the basic and advanced academies and may add a third level of academy for those Explorers who have now completed the first two levels.

You may reach the ECSO Explorer program supervisor, Deputy Jeff Prater, by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by calling 972-825-4934.

 

Media contact: Jo Ann Livingston This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

ECSO Training Division conducts training session for SAGU faculty and staff


ELLIS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Johnny Brown, Sheriff

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

ECSO Training Division conducts training session for SAGU faculty and staff

Waxahachie, Texas – Sept. 7, 2015

The Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Training Division recently completed an in-service training with SAGU faculty and staff on what to do in the event of an active shooter situation on campus. The 1.5-hourlong training is offered free to all Ellis County schools, their educators and staff.

Training Division deputies Hunter Barnes, Ken Hatcher and Jeff Prater are all certified as instructors in Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, (ALERRT), including its civilian-oriented component, Citizens Response to an Active Shooter Event, (CRASE). The training is made available at a time and date convenient for the schools. 

The ALERRT program, which is based at Texas State University and funded by the state and federal government, has trained more than 60,000 law enforcement professionals across the nation since 2002. ALERRT works with the U.S. Department of Justice, FBI and the Governor’s Office.  Through ALERRT’s CRASE component, the ECSO deputies train educators and staff on best practices in the event of an incident. The information presented includes case studies and details both what the police response may be and also offers suggestions on a school response.

During the in-service, the deputies discussed the three decisions that educators and staff face in the event of an active shooter situation: avoid (or escape), deny (or lockout) and defend. As part of the training, the SAGU faculty and staff were shown a video reenactment of the Columbine, Co., High School shooting. The video included the actual 911 tapes from that incident.

The deputies discussed how a person typically responds to an incident: denial that something is occurring, deliberation as to what to do after realizing there is a situation and the decisive moment when a person has to act.

“We want them to understand their options. We discuss stress rate and how they have to slow their heart rate down and concentrate,” Prater said, saying that the training informs people of techniques on how not to freeze up but to get to the decisive moment and act.

Statistics compiled by ALERRT indicate there were 110 active shooter events from 2000-2012 involving schools, businesses and other sites. In those incidents, 90-percent of the shooters committed suicide within 90 seconds of being challenged by police, whose priority after arriving on scene is to stop the threat.

During the training, the deputies discuss risk assessment and offer suggestions to the educators and staff; they also talk about the aftermath of an incident. The training ends with a question and answer session.  Final policy for responses continues to rest with each school district and local police agency.

For more information or to schedule a free training, contact Deputy Hunter Barnes at 972-825-4949 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Jeff Prater at 972-825-4934 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Media contact: Jo Ann Livingston This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Sheriff’s Office to participate in drug take back initiatives


ELLIS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Johnny Brown, Sheriff

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Sheriff’s Office to participate in drug take back initiatives

Waxahachie, Texas – Sept. 7, 2015

The Ellis County Sheriff’s Office is joining together again with local law enforcement agencies and other organizations Saturday, Sept. 26, for the semi-annual Operation Medicine Drop and Take It To THE BOX Prescription Drug Return initiatives.

Both programs assist community members by setting up drop-off locations where people can dispose of their unused or expired medications safely and anonymously. Utilizing these drop-off sites prevents the medications from getting into the hands of people they don’t belong to, particularly teens, and also helps protect the environment because the drugs aren’t being thrown away in the trash or flushed down a toilet into the water system. The drugs that are collected will be taken to the DEA for disposal.

A number of locations will be set up across Ellis County on Sept. 26 for the public’s convenience (please note that times vary by location):

• Waxahachie High School parking lot, 1000 N. U.S. Highway 77, Waxahachie – 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

• Ennis Walmart, 700 E. Ennis Ave., Ennis – 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

• Palmer Walmart, 428 N. Dallas St., Palmer – 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

• Italy Walmart, 721 Dale Evans Drive, Italy – 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

• Red Oak CVS, 105 Harris Ave., Red Oak – 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

• Ferris City Hall, 100 Town Plaza, Ferris – 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

• Midlothian CVS, 100 U.S. Highway 287 Business, Midlothian – 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Local law enforcement agencies involved with the Operation Medicine Drop and the Take It to THE BOX Prescription Drug Return initiatives include the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, Ennis ISD Police Department, Ennis Police Department, Ferris Police Department, Italy Police Department, Midlothian Police Department, Palmer Police Department, Red Oak Police Department, Waxahachie Police Department, and Ellis County Constable Pct. 1. The organizations and businesses that are involved include Ellis County Drug-Free Coalition, Impact Communities, Reach Council Prevention Services, Waxahachie ISD, CVS Pharmacy and Walmart.

This is the sixth year for the Sheriff’s Office to participate in the collection initiative. During the April 2015 collection, 629 pounds of unused and expired prescription and over-the-counter drugs were collected in Ellis County as a result of the drug take back initiatives.


Media contact: Jo Ann Livingston This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

ECSO Explorers take second place overall honors at state competition


ELLIS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Johnny Brown, Sheriff

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

ECSO Explorers take second place overall honors at state competition

Waxahachie, Texas – Aug. 11, 2015

The Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Explorers Post 106 took second place overall honors out of 96 teams entered at 26th annual TLEEAA State Competition, which took place July 30-Aug. 2 at the University of Texas at Arlington. This is the third year in a row that Post 106 has placed in the top three overall standings out of all posts and teams competing.

The Sheriff’s Explorers took three, four-member teams to the competition, which included team scenarios to work through and individual skills tests, including bike riding, vehicle cone course, physical agility and a triathlon. Post 106’s Explorers who were not competing participated in the competition by serving as scenario actors. Each team that entered participated in eight scenarios drawn from amongst 16 scenarios offered in the schedule.

“This year’s state competition was by far the toughest competition ever,” said ECSO Deputy and Lead Advisor Jeff Prater. “Several of the scenarios had been totally rewritten and were different from anything ever done before. One of the hardest ones was the active shooter scenario, which had an officer down (who had been shot) that the team had to locate and, unbeknown to the team, there was an off-duty officer in the scenario who had one of the bad guys detained.

“If the Explorers rushed in too fast they would see the officer holding up his badge; if they moved too slow the bad guy might get away,” he said. “Just after they located the off-duty officer, another bad guy opened fire on them and then another bad guy opened fire on them from behind. It was one of the toughest scenarios I have ever seen.”

In the scenario competitions, ECSO Explorer Team A, which was composed of Capt. Colten Prater, Lt. Gage Adams, Sgt. Shelby Snodgress and Sgt. Ross McRee, received the following awards en route to the second overall team placing:

• first place – bomb threat

• first place – burglary in progress

• second place – arrest, search and seizure

• second place – gang activity

• second place – traffic stop – felony investigation

• third place – crime scene investigation

“This year, our A team’s average score in the eight scenarios was 96.5 percent, which earned them second place at the state competition,” Prater said. “The first place team from Dallas PD’s average score in their eight scenarios was 97.5 percent. This was the closest score between the two top teams in the history of the TLEEAA State Competition.”

ECSO Explorer Team B, which was composed of Cpl. Brandy Slusher, Matthew Aguilar, Tristan McQueen and Braden Prater, received the following awards in the scenario competitions en route to placing as the 23rd overall team:

• first place – active shooter

• first place – intoxicated driver

• second place – traffic stop – misdemeanor investigation

ECSO Explorer Team C, which was composed of Cpl. Nadir Garcia, Isaiah Patrick Bias, Courtney Cline and Luis Martinez Jr., received the following award in the scenario competitions en route to placing as the 37th overall team:

• first place – robbery

“Our B team’s average score on their eight scenarios was 89.5 percent, which placed them 23rd overall, and our C team ranked 37th overall,” Prater said.

Of the 96 teams that entered the state meet, 93 finished the competition. The final top five overall team placings were Dallas Police Department Post 3305, first place; Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Post 106, second place; Plano Police Department Post 911, third place; Irving Police Department Post 252, fourth place; and Harris County Sheriff’s Office Post 41, fifth place.

“Out of 96 teams that entered this year’s state competition, I have to say I am so proud of our Explorers,” Prater said. “The group of Explorers that we have are going to do great things one day. Mark my words, these young people will truly help make the world a better place, just like the Explorer motto, ‘Our Best Today for a Better Tomorrow.’ ”

Additional honors received by Post 106 included $750 scholarships to Explorers Colten Prater and Gage Adams. Post 106 also took first place in the video competition.

“As always, I’m very proud of the young men and women in our Exploring program,” said Sheriff Johnny Brown. “These kids go way above and beyond what the requirements are. Besides their training, they give a tremendous amount of community service hours.

“Our lead advisor, Deputy Jeff Prater, is doing a great job,” Brown said. “I want to thank him for his dedication and also thank his assistant advisors, Investigator Ryan Connelly, Deputy Ella Cheek and Deputy Jeremy Osteen, for all of their hard work being at the state competition to coach the teams. I want to thank our Training Division deputies who also helped out at the state meet as judges and all of our other deputies who make time for these kids.”

For more information on the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Exploring program, contact Deputy Jeff Prater by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by calling 972-825-4934. The Post’s website is www.ecsoexplorers.com.

 

Media contact: Jo Ann Livingston This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

ECSO members assist with Special Olympics of Texas fundraiser


ELLIS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Johnny Brown, Sheriff

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

ECSO members assist with Special Olympics of Texas fundraiser

Waxahachie, Texas – July 24, 2015

Special Olympians, members of the Ellis County Sheriff's Office and Duncanville Police Department participated in a "Tip A Cop" fundraiser benefiting Special Olympics of Texas earlier this week at the Texas Roadhouse in Mansfield. The "Tip A Cop" event raised $2,600, including matching gifts and T-shirt sales, and was part of a program hosted by Texas Roadhouse restaurants around the state.

Shown with several Special Olympians and other participants are ECSO Deputy Ken Hatcher (at left) and Duncanville Crime Prevention Officer Doug Sisk (at right). Photo courtesy of Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Texas.

 

Media contact: Jo Ann Livingston This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 


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