Law enforcement, first responders practice river patrol exercise - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Law enforcement, first responders practice river patrol exercises

Joint custody of the Ohio River makes Louisville and Southern Indiana unique when it comes to law enforcement and first-responder territories. (Source: Sharon Yoo/WAVE 3 News) Joint custody of the Ohio River makes Louisville and Southern Indiana unique when it comes to law enforcement and first-responder territories. (Source: Sharon Yoo/WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Joint custody of the Ohio River makes Louisville and Southern Indiana unique when it comes to law enforcement and first-responder territories.

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With that body of water come several responsibilities.

That's why dozens of agencies gathered at the LMPD River Patrol dock off River Road on Tuesday morning to practice essential patrol moves on the water.

"In case they have to off-load a patient, in case there is some type of criminal activity," said Felix Hensley, the co-chair of the area Maritime Security Committee.

Hensley explained that with anything that's possible out on the water, it’s important to have all water-responding units on the same protocol.

"The day it happens is not the day you want to find out how to do it," Hensley said.

Agencies including LMPD, New Albany PD and Clarksville PD all took turns practicing the proper approach used when approaching commercial vessels on the river. Because commercial vessels cannot idle, Hensley explained that using the proper tactics is crucial.

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On paper, it may sound simple, but on the water it’s a whole different story.

"How they’re going to get from one area to another, how steep it is from one deck to another -- all of those things that require a rapid movement, this gives them an opportunity to practice that," Hensley said.

In true law enforcement fashion, nothing discourages these folks either. Not the heavy rain, not even tactical gear that’s soaking wet.

"What happens on the river affects both sides, so it is critical for the agencies in both states to work together to make sure we don't have a bad situation," Hensley said.

These multi-agency joint exercises do not happen too often. Because commercial vessels are involved, and many times need to be volunteered, gathering on this scale is a rare occurrence.

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