Florida National Guard Officer Completes Project for SCoRE
1SG Darren McCall
NCOIC - MCTFT
Officer Candidate Steven Hartwell is a viable member of the Florida National Guard Counterdrug Program, assigned to MCTFT in St. Petersburg, FL. OC Hartwell started out working as Logistics NCO and CMIS Administrator in September of 2007. Since then, he has filled multiple roles, and cross trained in every aspect of duties and responsibilities at MCTFT.
One of the valuable skill sets that OC Hartwell brings to the Florida National Guard Counterdrug Program is that he has extensive fabrication and construction experience, even running his own sub-contracting business before joining the program. This came to use recently, when MCTFT brought the newest Grant Funded Law Enforcement class to life. MCTFT received several tractor trailer trucks, with enclosed trailers to use as a hidden compartment class. The problem was the deadline.
Extensive modification was needed to transform these trailers to mimic those used by drug smugglers across the nation. The deadline for this approached rapidly, and MCTFT was not able to find a contractor that would fit within the given budget. OC Hartwell, stepped up to the plate and went above the call of duty.
Drawing from his contractor experience, OC Hartwell was able to bring in his own tools, and knowledge to direct the work team on what needed to be done. OC Hartwell teamed up with the Subject Matter Experts and Instructors for the course, and designed hidden compartments within the various commercial vehicles. Floors were ripped up inside the trailers, walls were pulled down, and holes cut in the frames. After four days of hard work, the project was complete.
Todd Kirchgraber, Director of Training stated, “OC Hartwell single handedly saved the program in excess of $5000.00 by contributing his knowledge and time, as well as his own tools.” This spotlights the diversity of the Counterdrug Program, and how each member brings skills and experience that multiplies the mission.
Even the Senior Instructors and Subject Matter Experts were highly impressed with the finished product. Instructor Joe Morris, a retired Florida Highway Patrol Officer, stated that if he had stopped any of these vehicles, he would not think twice about the hidden compartments. This is a testament to the professional job that OC Hartwell had accomplished.
One of multiple hidden compartments built for the SCoRE class.