A sign outside Austin High School Wednesday alerts the public to police training inside. Law enforcement shut down the school and treated it as a hostile environment. -- Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Hostile training a success

Published 9:56am Thursday, February 14, 2013

Some local officers say Wednesday’s simulation of a hostile environment was some of the most realistic training they have received.

An Austin Fire truck sits outside on the west side of Austin High School as law enforcement goes through training inside.

The Austin Police Department, Mower County Sheriff’s Department, Special Incident Response Team and several local law enforcement agencies closed Austin High School for training from 2 to 8 p.m. For some, it was a “huge learning experience,” said Police Chief Brian Krueger, who added officers responded appropriately.

Students and faculty simulated several hostile scenarios for officers, which would work in other environments, as well.

“I thought the students did a fantastic job of playing actors and victims,” Krueger said.

Krueger added practicing in such events has evolved from slow, deliberate training to fast-paced scenarios that simulate real life. Both Krueger and Sheriff Terese Amazi participated in the training, as well.

Dispatch Supervisor Marti Higgs said the law enforcement received no mistaken 911 calls, either, as dispatchers broadcast every few minutes that the exercise was only training.

Gold Cross Ambulance crews stand outside Austin High School Wednesday afternoon.

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