Hundreds of female police officers in town for conference

Topics tackled: critical incidents, PTSD

Hundreds of female police officers in...

MONTEREY, Calif. - This week, more than 800 law enforcement officers from all over the state are in Monterey for the 2017 Women Leaders in Law Enforcement Symposium. The goal of the symposium is to support and empower female officers and allow them to network and share experiences.

"Focused on leadership, leadership within law enforcement, not just for women, but it's also a place where women can collaborate and partner,” said Pacific Grove Police Chief Amy Christey.

There will be about 20 workshops, including two critical incident debriefs. One of those examines the 2015 San Bernardino shooting. 

In December 2015, Syed Farook and his wife opened fire on people at a training center, killing 14 and hurting 22. The suspects died in a shootout with police several miles away.

The conference will look at the lessons learned from that day and hear from several first responders who were at the scene.

"You need to look at what training was in place," said Emeryville Police Chief Jennifer Tejada. "Did our training measure up to the challenges of that incident? And then you want to look at the community's response. Did we really serve the community? Were we tactically sound? Did we make good decisions? And then, how did we communicate that to the community?”

Police chiefs said there's no downside from critiquing these critical incidents. As we've seen from a music festival in Las Vegas to a nightclub in Florida or a church service in Texas, mass shootings could happen anywhere.

"This could happen in your town," said Walnut Creek Police Chief Thomas Chaplin. "It doesn't matter where you live, it doesn't matter where you work, these things unfortunately occur and it's a moment when the community needs us most. They need us to be at our best and they need us to focus in on the proper response because it means saving lives.”

The conference also studied another critical incident, the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland that killed 36 people.

Now what to do with all of that information? Well it depends, it can be used for training opportunities or in best practices policies.

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