Shenandoah Police Sergeant Mark Denham represented the city in Poland recently when he was invited to train Polish law enforcement officers in firearms proficiency.
The Shenandoah Police Department has built a relationship with the Polish National Police that began a few years ago when the department welcomed a delegation of police officers from Poland. As the visitors learned more about American law enforcement and the Shenandoah Police Department, they became interested in sharing information and resources. The Shenandoah Police Department emphasizes training and preparedness, and increasingly serves as a leader in the region in these capacities.
During his two week stay in Poland, Sergeant Denham trained firearms instructors with the Polish Police, the border guards, military police, government protection agency, and a Special Forces unit known as the “Operational Mobile Reaction Group.” The training exercises focused on basic formations and skills, and extended to reacting to attacks by mentally unstable individuals and random shooters.
Sergeant Denham brings a high level of skill and experience in the field of tactical and technical use of firearms, gained over thirty years in law enforcement that includes a career with the FBI. He frequently leads training exercises for the Shenandoah Police as well as offers self-defense awareness training to local citizen groups. When asked about the differences and similarities between his agency and the Polish police, Sergeant Denham said there were more similarities than differences, and felt that the Polish officers were skilled and well equipped to serve superbly in their profession.
International exchange programs in policing allow for comparative evaluation of doctrines and procedures, but they also highlight and bring awareness that some trends in criminology such as mental illness, gangs, substance abuse, are universal. As countries develop their best practices to confront those trends, they ultimately benefit by sharing them. Shenandoah Police took advantage of this opportunity to share knowledge and experience of one of their own by providing training to Poland’s firearms instructors, who will then implement these new training concepts to the department’s more than 100,000 officers.
“I commend Sergeant Denham for representing the city and the Shenandoah Police Department in such a positive way,” said Shenandoah Mayor Garry Watts. “We are very proud of our police officers and how they value a progressive training program. Whenever we are in a position to offer input and share information with other groups, we all win.”
The Shenandoah Police Department plans to continue their ongoing relationship with the Polish Police Department and others as opportunities arise to work together.
Photo: Shenandoah Police Sergeant Mark Denham conducts training exercises in Poland with firearms instructors from various Polish law enforcement agencies.