skip navigation nih record
Vol. LXVII, No. 12
June 5, 2015
cover

previous story

next story



NIH Police Host Cookout for Employees

NIH’s bravest protect campus so that employees can safely further NIH’s mission. They also know their way around a charcoal grill.

Lt. Marco Kittrell takes a break from grilling hamburgers. The menu also included Italian sausage and hot dogs. To the right is fellow chef Lt. Lawrence Brown.

Lt. Marco Kittrell takes a break from grilling hamburgers. The menu also included Italian sausage and hot dogs. To the right is fellow chef Lt. Lawrence Brown.

On May 12, the NIH Police hosted the 21st annual Police Awareness Day on the lawn in front of Bldg. 1. Representatives from several units within the department and from surrounding law enforcement agencies were on hand to talk to staff about their roles, let spectators look at their equipment and, of course, grill lunch for employees.

In addition to a barbecue lunch, the event also included visitor tables for the Montgomery County police and sheriff’s departments, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Police and the NIH Fire Department. A simulated shooting range offered participants a chance to see how they would handle life or death encounters.

“We look forward to this day every year,” said Police Chief Alvin D. Hinton. “It gives us the opportunity to develop a greater rapport with the NIH community outside of our normal duties.”

The NIH Police department is a full-service department, which means it offers the same services that a local police department does. NIH police can, for example, issue traffic and parking citations, patrol campus, investigate crime, detain citizens who have an arrest warrant or respond to reports of an active shooter.

“There are roughly 30,000 people on campus each day,” said Sgt. Clyde Bartz of the special response team. “NIH has a larger population than most small cities. Any offense that happens outside can happen inside. We work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—holidays included—to keep everyone safe.”

Cpl. Jose Ayala of the special response team stands behind a riot shield. Tools of the police trade were part of the day’s attractions.

Cpl. Jose Ayala of the special response team stands behind a riot shield. Tools of the police trade were part of the day’s attractions.

Photos: Eric Bock

Bartz said that his team is trained to respond to high-risk situations on campus. His unit is equivalent to a local department’s SWAT team. His team can be identified by their olive green uniforms. They undergo extensive training alongside federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. He added that the team also trains closely with the NIH Fire Department. If needed, the team can respond to emergencies involving hazardous materials.

“We’re highly trained professionals. If a call goes out, we can be there almost immediately,” Bartz said. “When seconds count, we can’t be waiting for an outside police department to arrive.”

Later, K-9 unit handlers Cpls. Wallace Carter and Steve Cradlin gave a brief demonstration of how their dogs find explosives. There are 10 other NIH canine teams assigned to the Bethesda area. Each unit is trained to detect either explosives or drugs.

Police Awareness Day is part of National Police Week, which honors police officers killed in the line of duty. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day.


back to top of page