Leaders from Dover Air Force Base and state and local agencies on Wednesday signed eight initiatives establishing partnerships covering a range of activities, including law enforcement training, civil air patrol licensing, a financial stability program and a community organic garden.
Officials also signed an executive charter for the First State Community Partnership initiative, reported Delaware State News.
Dover Air Force Base and the Dover Police Department will share a variety of training resources under the law enforcement co-op initiative. The police department, for example, can use the Air Force’s firing range, and security forces at the base can attend training courses offered by the police department. The base and Dover police recently participated in a joint active-shooter exercise at the installation.
“This has been nothing but beneficial for the both of us,” said Lt. Col. Dana Metzger, commander of the 436th Security Forces Squadron.
The installation also is helping the city by providing its explosives-detecting canines when needed. Recently, the dogs have responded to a rash of bomb threats at public schools.
“They help us out a lot because we don’t have explosive dogs. We have narcotic and patrol dogs and the cost savings for us is tremendous,” said Dover Police Deputy Chief Maj. Marvin Mailey. “It’s been great. I couldn’t ask for a better partner than the DAFB,” he said.
One of the agreements will expand the adopt-an-airman initiative, under which local families open their homes to Air Force personnel. The goal is to let community members and airmen know that the program isn’t intended to welcome military personnel only during the holidays, said Staff Master Sgt. Michelle Browning.
“I think that’s going to make them feel more comfortable and may cause them to reach out more to the community,” Browning said.