Updated: 06/11/2014 10:44 PM
Created: 06/11/2014 5:14 PM WDIO.com
By: Briggs LeSavage
The Duluth Police Department received some very realistic training Wednesday.
Along with about a dozen other response crews from the city, county and state, the Duluth police answered a fake scanner call around 8:30 a.m. with reports of an active shooter inside the Comfort Systems building on Garfield Avenue in Duluth, all part of an emergency response training exercise.
It took more than one year and 200 people to make the scenario happen, but Duluth Police Deputy Officer Mike Tusken said the effort was worth it in order to better prepare their officers for large-scale emergencies.
"Today's training certainly shows we are ready for a response in some areas, and there are some areas that we need to shore up on and improve on, which is truly the reason we had this exercise is to see and assess what we do well and what we can do better for next time," Tusken said.
In order for that to happen, Tusken said it was important for the scene to be as realistic as possible. This included dealing with victims, their families and the media alongside the active threat happening inside the buuilding.
"The stress was palpable," Tusken said. "You could feel that, you could see it on our officers' faces. They didn't act much differently than I would anticipiate them acting in a real event."
One of the training scenario's main goals was to help the department learn coordination with outside response crews, which Sargeant Bob Shene said is incredibly important in these situations.
"It's a multi-agency, community coordinated response to these events to be successful, so we have to be able to work together to do that.
Following the training, Duluth Police spokeman Jim Hansen said within the coming week, those involved plan to take a close look at just how the training scenario went and will then make any necessary adjustments.
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