Brian Hill

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Jan. 20, 2022) – Phelps County Sheriff’s Department deputies spent two days on Fort Leonard Wood this week, gaining valuable law enforcement refresher training.

The eight deputies on post Tuesday and Wednesday are based out of Rolla, Missouri, and are members of what’s called a special response team — a highly-trained tactical element of the sheriff’s department that typically responds to the high-risk calls and operations beyond the capabilities of traditional law enforcement.

“It’s like a smaller version of a SWAT team,” said Alex Maurer, a detective sergeant with PCSD, and one of the attendees.

Over the course of the two days, the deputies were able to practice breaching and tactical team techniques, as well as have classroom training and a live-fire event, Maurer said.

“It’s awesome for us,” he added. “We don’t have anything like this in Phelps County. This gives our guys a lot of real-world experience in a training facility.”

James Cornett, a U.S. Army Military Police School training instructor, said law enforcement agencies regularly come from as far away as St. Louis to use Fort Leonard Wood’s world-class training facilities.

“Things like these live-fire shoot houses and ranges — those are something that most of these guys don’t have because they don’t have the facilities like Fort Leonard Wood does,” he said.

Allowing civilian law enforcement agencies to train here is beneficial for everyone involved, Cornett added.

“For Fort Leonard Wood, it’s a little bit of networking, getting out there, working with the community, working with the law enforcement agencies around Fort Leonard Wood,” he said. “The other benefit for us specifically is that these guys are bringing tactics and techniques from their areas of operation. Having them here, sharing some of that with us, we can then start working some of that into what we’re teaching our military police.”

Another attendee this week, Fred Taylor, served as an Infantryman in the Army before becoming a PCSD deputy about three years ago. He said he enjoys serving his community — Rolla is his hometown — and that starts with getting the best training available.

“I’m not really a classroom guy, so when we get to go out and do hands-on stuff, it’s a good way for me to learn,” he said.

Cornett said future training opportunities for the PCSD deputies are planned in the coming months.

Jesse Dodd, a deputy with the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department, participates in tactical team training Wednesday at Training Area 167. Dodd and seven other PCSD deputies spent two days on post this week, gaining valuable refresher training. Law enforcement agencies regularly come from as far away as St. Louis to use Fort Leonard Wood’s world-class training facilities. (Photo by Angi Betran, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office)


About Fort Leonard Wood

Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that has evolved from a small basic training post 80 years ago to a premier Army Center of Excellence that trains nearly 80,000 military and civilians each year.

Fort Leonard Wood is home to the U.S Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and three U.S. Army schools: the U.S. Army Engineer School; U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School; and the U.S. Army Military Police School. In addition to training engineer, CBRN and military police specialties for the Army, Fort Leonard Wood also provides gender-integrated in-processing and Basic Combat Training for new Soldiers.

Fort Leonard Wood also hosts and trains with the largest Marine Corps Detachment and Air Force Squadron on any Army installation as well as a large Navy construction detachment.

More information about Fort Leonard Wood is at: