Eight police officers from Chihuahua spent the week in Pueblo for a law enforcement exchange and training program.
Friday, 11 News watched as the officers from Mexico took part in firearms training and acted out SWAT situations.
The Pueblo Police Department and the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office showed them how to conduct a vehicle assault, and how to clear an unknown building with weapons ready.
“These guys, where they are at, and some of the situations that they are involved in, you have to be pretty brave. And what we want to do is help them have some skills to where they are better off than they were when they came here,” said Sgt. Franklyn Ortega.
Over the week of training they have also learned defensive driving, community policing, and arrest control techniques--skills the Chihuahua team will take home with them in order to train more officers.
11 News asked an officer why the training was so valuable to them.
Alfredo Gonzalez with the Sheriff’s Office translated his response.
“Because we are part of a special tactical team in Chihuahua and everything we can get can help us. The training here is similar to some situations back home, but more skilled,” said Chihuahua First Officer Alfonso Porras.
11 News learned that one of the Mexican officers jumped in to perform CPR after an elderly gentleman had a heart attack as they were touring the Center for American Values. The gentleman did pass away later in the evening, but trainers were impressed by the paramedic’s quick and admirable actions.
“We always knew they had good character, but there was a man who needed assistance and this guy from another country, who is just visiting, jumped in and tried to help this man. And to me that was good to see Mexican values at the Center for American Values,” said Ortega.
Pueblo has had an 18-year sister city relationship with Chihuahua City. Officials say there have been numerous cultural, sporting, business, and government exchanges between both cities, including a 2009 police exchange.
Training this week was done in several formats including lecture, open discussion, and practical application.
The City of Chihuahua is the state capital of the Mexican state of Chihuahua. It has a population of about 825,327 and is approximately 672 miles from Pueblo.
For more information about Pueblo’s sister cities visit: http://www.pueblosistercites.org/our-mission