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DeWitt Township's new chief of police is leading an effort on active shooter training

DeWitt Township Chief of Police Matt Merony
Posted at 12:27 PM, Sep 17, 2022

DEWITT, Mich. — DeWitt Township's new chief of police has hit the ground running. Almost one month into the job, Matt Merony said he's already made great strides in meeting some of his goals.

"My latest endeavor, something I'm very passionate about, is active shooter training," Merony said.

Merony started his law enforcement career in Detroit. A little more than one year later, he applied to Michigan State University's Police Department, where he worked for more than 26 years as an officer, a sergeant, a lieutenant and a captain.

Merony graduated from the FBI National Academy in 2016, and in 2021, had an eight-month fellowship in Washington D.C., where he trained new agents in active shooter response.

"ALERRT stands for advanced law enforcement rapid response training—getting in there and taking care of the problem," Merony said. "There's two goals: you first stop the killing, and then, you stop the dying."

For civilians the training is, "run, hide, fight."

"They say knowledge is power, and unfortunately, if you would've asked me 16 years ago, if I would've been teaching what to do in an active shooter situation to civilian personnel, I would've looked at you strange," Merony said. "But, unfortunately in this day and age, it's become more prevalent, and the police aren't there 24/7. People have to be able to understand what their options are and that, if this pops off, they're not automatically victims."

One of Merony's goals is to bring this knowledge to local law enforcement officers.

"Hopefully by the end of 2023, every law enforcement officer in Eaton, Ingham and Clinton counties will be trained to ALERRT level one," Merony said.

Another of his goals is to bring this knowledge into local schools.

"As of today, myself and Chief Ferguson of the city of DeWitt, along with Chief DeKorte from the fire station, trained 180 teachers in the DeWitt School District on the basics of 'run, hide, fight,'" Merony said.

Last but not least, Merony wants to expand the department and hopes to post another position soon.

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