Staff Report

A total of 21 officers from law enforcement agencies in Mexico graduated Sept. 4 from a 10-day dignitary-protection training course at the Hancock College Public Safety Training Complex at the college’s Lompoc Valley Center.

The 80-hour training, conducted by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, provided the officers with the knowledge and skills to plan and execute operations involving the protection of dignitaries, including local officials and governors, and to participate as members of a dignitary security detail.

“These officers came from several different state and local law enforcement agencies in Mexico,” said Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s lieutenant and Hancock instructor Juan Camarena. “They are assigned to protect state and local politicians and other dignitaries, and this training will help them build those skills.”

The training included modules involving high-speed driving, physical security and other important skills. The class was able to practice those skills at Hancock’s state-of-the-art facility, which includes a shooting range, Emergency Vehicle Operator Course (EVOC) and several simulated residential and commercial buildings in the complex’s “scenario village.”

“Allan Hancock College is honored to have played a part in providing this important law enforcement training in conjunction with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office to our colleagues from Mexico,” said Mitch McCann, Associate Dean for Hancock’s Public Safety Training Complex.

The training is the result of the sheriffs’ office’s participation with the Santa Barbara and Puerto Vallarta Sister Cities Law Enforcement Exchange Program. This is the first time that the training has been held at Hancock’s PSTC.