My Two Major Takeaways from Safe Communities Day


By Rich Campana
Great Hearts Academies

On this characteristically warm day in December, I found myself fully engaged throughout the Safe Communities Day. Our day was chaired by Jim Ford, Deputy Chief of Scottsdale Fire Department and Eric Williams, Lieutenant of Scottsdale Police Department Training Unit, but we met Assistant Chief Popp (SPD), Scottsdale SWAT and Negotiation Teams, Fire Chief Tom Shannon, Bob Dawson (SFD Fire Investigator), and a slew of other Fire and Police officers who graciously gave their Friday to help educate Class 31.

After eight jam-packed hours and being physically and emotionally exhausted, I wanted to focus on a couple areas where I find myself contemplating these issues for days after Safe Communities Day.

  1. The MILO Range Simulator

Walking in to a darkened room with video-projected targets on the wall, I was anxious to try my hand. At first you think that this “game” is about target practice, but when the “real-life” situations begin to unfold, your heart is racing, you’re talking / yelling at fake actors and for a moment you lose yourself in that moment.

In the debrief, you begin to understand the drastic ramifications that your split decisions or actions or misfires or non-actions can cause. You realize that in that 20 second experience where you may have shot and “killed” the perpetrator, that this will be analyzed in a court of law and you could be deemed hero or villain, when you (the police officer) was just reacting to the intense unfolding situation.

It definitely gave me a much better appreciation of the necessary training and made me more apathetic to the story behind these sensationalized stories on the news.

  1. Residential Sprinkler

Watching a side-by-side comparison of a 50 square foot room go up in flames – one equipped with one standard residential sprinkler and the other not was life changing. We watched as the ill-equipped house, at first slowly, and then raging, fire engulfed this room with no hesitation. Within two minutes every inch was ablaze and smoke billowing out until our fireman extinguished the flame. The next room was much more anti-climactic. A small trashcan fire started and within thirty seconds the small, but growing fire in the corner of the room was 99% extinguished and 100% contained by the sprinkler.

All newly constructed, modified, or renovated homes and business must be equipped with proper sprinkler systems. These are life-saving initiatives that Scottsdale has had in place for decades.

I want to again thank off of the Police and Fire officers for spending so much time on this day opening our eyes and helping make our community safer.



1 Comment

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One response to “My Two Major Takeaways from Safe Communities Day

  1. David Simmons

    I concur with Rich. The MILO Range Simulator certainly provided insights into what our law enforcement community go through everyday. I too found my heart racing as I walked around to the side of the house during a domestic dispute call not knowing what may be lurking on the other side of the wooden fence. Did the abusive husband of the battered wife have a weapon? I don’t know, I couldn’t see his hands. When I directed the man to hold his hands where I could see them and come through the gate he didn’t show his hands, but walked through the gate abruptly! Should I shoot, I thought. My heard was racing at this point. This experience also gave me a much better appreciation of the necessary training and made me more apathetic to the story behind these sensationalized stories on the news.

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