Following approval from Fremont City Council and the Fremont Board of Education, a police substation is now close to being fully operational at Fremont Middle School.
By Friday – Monday at the latest – all of the equipment will be up and running in the former sixth-grade science room converted into the substation designed to alleviate congestion at the Fremont Police Department, 725 N. Park Ave, while also opening up a more accessible space for officers working on the east side of town, said Lt. Kurt Bottorff of the FPD.
Officers utilizing the space have access to everything that they would working at the normal station, he said, while also having designated space for various training exercises.
It also allows students to interact with police officers on a daily basis and see them as an ally, rather than a threat.
“It lets the kids see us in a different light, while also getting to have more of that one-on-one time with us,” Bottorff said.
The substation also acts as a deterrent for anybody wishing to inflict harm. With a heightened amount of school-related tragedies in recent years, it’s important to keep a vigilant eye out for potential threatening situations, he said.
It also acts as a great way to form community bonds between students, staff and the police force, he said.
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On Tuesday afternoon, around a dozen officers participated in Pressure Point Control Tactics training (PPCT) in a room above the two gymnasiums inside of the building.
Officers spent the afternoon working on skills related to restraining an uncooperative person while attempting to arrest them.
Drew Hilscher, a field training and defensive tactics officer, said that policemen learn more than 20 techniques to safely apprehend somebody resisting arrest.
The goal of the training is to keep officers and the person under arrest injury-free.
“PPCT is designed to create the least amount of injury to an officer and the person being restrained if they are being non-compliant,” Hilscher said.
Being able to use the substation to carry out so many different tasks is beneficial to the police department, Bottorff said.
“Partnering with the school district has been a great thing,” Bottorff said. "It’s a relationship that benefits the police department and the school.”