Tripwire in the Media
Gettysburg Companion Magazine Article
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GETTYSBURG FIRM TRAINS LAW ENFORCMENT AND MILITARY PERSONNEL FOR THE UNTHINKABLE EMERGENCY
On March 6, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced a project to find out just what level of military equipment and tactics/training local police departments have obtained in recent years.
ACLU affiliates in 23 states simultaneously filed more than 255 public records requests to determine the extent to which local police departments are using federally subsidized military technology and tactics that are traditionally used overseas, the release said.
Clearly, not everyone is on board with what critics call the “militarization” of local police.
Ryan Morris, owner of Tripwire Operations Group in Gettysburg, thinks those critics are missing the point.
“I have been police officer for 18 years,” said Morris, who founded his company in 2005. “Law enforcement receives state and federal grants to help them protect the jurisdictions to which they serve.”
He said explosive detection dogs, military-style weaponry and armored vehicles are simply reflections of the time, he said.
“Countless incidents over recent years, have pointed to the need for the training and resources (the police) need to do their jobs.”
Morris said most problems could be avoided through proper training and equipment.
Tripwire Operations Group can be found in a not-very-imposing building on the Baltimore Pike outside of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
It would be accurate to say most people in the immediate area have never heard of them. The company keeps a low profile generally except for the police and military communities. Deputy Harry McKinney of the Chester County Sheriff’s office said that is a good thing.
“The right people know about them,” he said. Tripwire has a very specialized clientele.
“Our capabilities statement is simple,” Morris wrote on the company’s website. (www. tripwireops.org) “We are first responders dedicated to first responders. We believe the most highly trained create a safer America. We prepare military and first responders to protect our country by providing products, training, services and relationships that together no one else provides.”
The website’s graphics look like the cover art to one of those combat computer games. Tripwire is no game. “All employees of Tripwire come from either a Law Enforcement or Military background,” Morris said. He said the company has nine full-time employees. The website also says the company has also recruited a number of “Federal agents, retired bomb squad personnel, retired police officers, military personnel and some active state and local police officers” as part of their law enforcement training network.
To date, Tripwire has trained more than 11,000 first responders in dealing with improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and explosive recognition alone.
The firm’s capabilities ranges from the sale and export of explosive products, firearms sales, and training services to law enforcement and military to providing special effects pyrotechnics for the motion picture industry.
Explosive sales include items such as detonators, plastic bonded explosives like C-4, dynamite, TNT and others. The company also keeps facilities for the storage of explosives in seven states, including Pennsylvania. Tripwire’s training division has worked with the U. S. Department of Defense, ATF, FBI, DHS, State Department, Secret Service, the Virginia State Police and the New Jersey State Police to name a few.
Tripwire’s trainers combine more than a century’s worth of experience in law enforcement, fire service, emergency medical service, HazMat, SWAT and Special Response Teams, corporate security and bomb squads. Tripwire’s K9 division provides live explosive training materials in a training kit specifically designed for the purpose, and provides advanced certification programs for Federal, State and Local K9 teams.
The main focus of the company, however, is on the real-life drama of fighting crime and terroristic threats. Morris, himself a former bomb squad commander, said he “felt there was an unmet need for training. Tripwire currently offers over 30 classes geared for this unmet need.” Tripwire’s training constantly evolves to meet the needs of the specific target audience to which it is being presented and provides the most up to date information in all Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosive (CBRNE) disciplines as well as the K-9 community.
Tripwire recently, at the request of a government agency, stood up their RDTE Program. The Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDTE) Program conducts laboratory and field experiments in support of national defense applications for science and technology. In the lab, scientists, technicians, and operations specialists carry out projects involving chemical synthesis and analysis. In the field, Tripwire RDTE investigates energetic events, hazardous materials, countermeasures, and detection equipment.
Tripwire recently opened up an online university at TripwireU.com where students may have access to a host of courseware.
In closing, Morris said “We’re doing things that nobody else is doing. It’s not IF it’s going to happen, it’s WHEN, and we want our first responders to be prepared ” he said.
Tripwire Operations Group may be contacted at:
www.tripwireops.org Facebook: Tripwire Operations Group