Southeast Missouri State University student publication

DPS officer Reyna chosen for Missouri counter-terrorism program

Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Officer Reyna was accepted into the Missouri Office of Homeland Security Counter-Terrorism Officer Program.
Photo submitted by the Department of Public Safety.

While campus is empty and classes have halted, the Department of Public Safety is acquiring new skills to protect Southeast students.

As part of this mission, DPS officer John Reyna was chosen to participate in the Missouri Office of Homeland Security Counter-Terrorism Officer Program.

According to Reyna, the program is relatively new to Missouri and will help local law enforcement agencies share information and help prevent acts of terror.

“This program will help agencies be more proactive,” Reyna said. “It’s mainly to develop preparedness for large-scale type of incidents, [as well as] intelligence and how to share that intelligence.”

Assistant Director of Public Safety and Transit Kenneth Gullett said the program will help law enforcement agencies all across the state.

“It will increase law enforcement knowledge and capabilities across the state by providing POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) approved terrorism prevention training,” Gullett said. “Phase one will enhance knowledge to critical incident management and counter-terrorism through self-paced online training. Phase two builds off of phase one by [training on] more advanced topics.”

The program does not have a set start-date yet. Gullett said they received the letter asking for Southeast’s participation in the program in January and knew Reyna would be a perfect fit.

“They wanted someone who was motivated, diligent and has an interest in Missouri’s counter-terrorism efforts,” Gullett said. “They must have a minimum of three years of law enforcement experience, so he met all the requirements. He will be one out of approximately 150 participants in this program.”

Reyna was previously in the Marine Corps and was an officer in Jackson for a number of years before coming to Southeast. The program will take two years to complete, and Reyna said he is ready to bring his new-found knowledge back to his fellow officers at DPS.

“A big takeaway is not only to have the knowledge myself but also sharing that knowledge with my fellow officers here and training them on the things I will learn,” Reyna said.