DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) – Police often don’t know what kind of situation they’re walking into. That’s when scenario-based training comes in handy. On Tuesday, Danville police responded to situations in a building that’s set to be torn down.
This type of training is a hands-on way for police to practice handling realistic situations. Chief Christopher S. Yates said when they have the opportunity to use a building however they want, they can prepare for the worst.
“We train for every possible real-life situation we may be in. Sometimes we over-train in it, because we never know what we’re going to face,” Chief Yates said.
He said there’s just nothing like moving around real working doors, stairs and windows. They may be everyday objects, but he said they make police training feel more real.
“You always have an advantage of having an actual building to work on rather than a tabletop exercise or something laid out in tape or outline.”
Flashbangs and offender-roleplayers are details that add to that realistic atmosphere. Whether their training is scenario-based or theoretical, and likely or not, it’s all based on things officers will face in the street.
“You look at a lot of the training that we do, and it’s not to meet the minimum standard. We want to often look at what are we possibly going to face and let’s prepare for it.”
The tactical team worked on entry techniques and moving as a team Tuesday. They’re already trained on how to solve problems as individuals, but when they have space to move as a team, Chief Yates said acting quickly in a crisis becomes second nature.
“Because a lot of the calls that officers are regularly dispatched to – that’s training in itself. So, a lot of the time they like to move into areas that are more unlikely to happen, but whenever it does and if it does – they have a proper tool set.”
Police and fire departments often use buildings that are set to be demolished as training facilities. They can start fires, break down doors and face the kinds of threats that come with the job. And Chief Yates said it’s all to offer the ultimate protection and safety for the community.
He said any time they come across buildings on the demolition list, they contact the owners and ask to use them – as long as they’re safe for officers to operate in.