By Jay Meisel
FORT PIERCE - Those who attend the national Republican convention in Tampa later this month can feel more secure, thanks, in part, to a new institute at Indian River State College.
Recently, the Indian River State College National Preparedness Center provided training in Tampa for people who would use a portable device to detect radiation, said Evan A. Berry, assistant dean of public service education. The recently launched institute plans other training projects that would deal with issues involving law enforcement, homeland security and firefighting, Mr. Berry said.
The institute can provide specialized training in those areas at a more affordable cost than what a private company would charge, he said.
The institute has three full-time employees and will partner with others, as well, to provide the training, he said.
Costs for running the institute should be taken care of by the fees for providing the training services, Mr. Berry said.
The institute expects to draw participants from the community and elsewhere in Florida or other states, he said.
Those people will spend money in the local economy, he said.
"Obviously, there's an economic stimulus part to it," Mr. Berry said.
Besides having provided training in Tampa, the institute is working with Ineos New Plant Bioenergy, a biofuel company in Vero Beach, Mr. Berry said.
The company, which creates biofuels, is receiving training on how to deal with and prevent fire, he said.
There are many types of situations the institute could deal with, he said.
If the institute, for example, was asked to help prevent or deal with a situation such as the mass shooting incident at the theater in Aurora, Colo., institute employees would likely look at the security of the theater and how police should respond, he said.
They would also look at the entrances to the theater and the ease with which someone could use them, he said.
In the Colorado shooting, the shooter entered through a back door.