Sheriff Patten chosen for Department of Homeland Security’s federal leadership training academy

Published 11:49 am Friday, January 27, 2023

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NATCHEZ — Recognized for his leadership skills, Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten is in Georgia this week at the Department of Homeland Security Leadership Academy.

The $15,000 program is being completely funded by the federal government. It is only the 15th Leadership Academy put on by the Department of Homeland Security since its formation after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The Leadership Academy is held at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia.

Patten is the first Mississippi sheriff to go through the DHS Leadership Academy and the fifth law enforcement official from the state.

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Officials at the Department of Homeland Security said the Leadership Academy is a critical part of its framework to strengthen national preparedness through information sharing and cooperative, strategic partnerships.

“The Department of Homeland Security Leadership Academy’s goal is to enhance attendees’ leadership capabilities prior to or during a time of crisis. Last year, there were 647 mass shootings all over the United States that occurred in nightclubs, churches, schools and other public places. Law enforcement training over the years has been geared more toward reactionary measures, but this training is different,” Patten said. “This particular training is geared more toward preventative measures and how to stop the threat before it becomes a mass casualty event by recognizing the signs.

“The instructors have gathered data from mass shootings such as the Parkland School shoot, the Dallas active shooter event and the Las Vegas shooting and have created a plan of how to recognize the red flags ahead of time,” he said. “We are also being briefed and trained on shooting events such as the one in the Breanna Taylor case.

“DHS Leadership Academy instructors are sharing with us steps that should be taken if an incident like those were to occur. They are testing us and challenging us to think critically through scenario-based training. One aspect that truly hit home with me was when they brought in Max Schachter to speak to us and train us. His presentation was both heartbreaking and eye-opening, all while addressing how crucial the need is for effective communication between all fire responders — law enforcement, fire, E-911, medical and others.

“The Department of Homeland Security also brought in investigators who worked on those cases and the information they shared was priceless. This training drove home how important it is for leaders to put egos to the side prior to an incident happening, which will, in turn, allow us to focus on the mission, people and effective management of resources if an incident were to happen.”

Patten said the new network of resources provided by the leadership training will be invaluable to Adams County.

“Maimonides said it best, ‘The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision.’ Personally, I want my staff and I to be equipped with the latest training we need in order to make an informed decision because we are the answer to a crisis when there is no answer,” he said. “It’s an honor to be the first and only sheriff from the State of Mississippi to graduate from this Leadership Academy while at the same time being an ambassador for our community.”