Today’s training regime began with a staged situation, but the school was real, and the threat was one of the most tragic imaginable. Officers took part in a heightened scenario, acting as if the school was under attack.
“This type of training really increases the intensity for the officer, we notice an increase in heart rate, an increase in breathing, you can see the stress. It’s the closest we can come to a real life situation,” said Lowell Larson.
Armed with pellet air soft guns, it was a take charge kind of day. The air-soft guns can hold about 35–40 rounds. At every opportunity the threat changed, making the situation more unnerving and forcing officers to utilize proper procedures under duress. Helmets are necessary because even though the air-soft guns are for training purposes, they can pack quite a punch.
Included in the training was dispatch personnel. Effective communication is crucial in high stress situations. It is essential that dispatch have a clear understanding of what officers are faced with at the scene. “As they do their thing we’re listening and are able to relay to radios whether it be a mass fire, police, more police S.W.A.T. teams, we are able to tell them where they are and the condition of what is going on,” said Kristie Buruse of Central Dispatch of Marquette County.
To aid in the process, cameras were placed on the helmets of the good and bad guys, giving each trainee the advantage of seeing the situation from the perspective of both the officer and the perpetrator.
Stay tuned to ABC 10 all week as we bring you more on these in-depth training situations…