Gulf Coast Police Recreate Crisis

Gulf Coast Police Recreate Crisis

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Pensacola, Fla. -

While SWAT teams comb neighborhoods in Massachusetts some SWAT teams from the Gulf Coast were getting special training in Pensacola.  Pensacola police hosted a series of exercises today for lawmen from Mobile to Franklin County Florida.  While these scenarios may be pure fiction, the fact is a crisis team deals with some very real life or death situations.  In this scenario anti-government extremists take over the council chambers at Pensacola City Hall.  The ring-leader is played by Pensacola Police Detective Chris Wilkinson. 


"We try to share, at least I do, the mistakes I've made with other officers so we can learn from those without having to do it in real life that's what this training is all about actually," says Wilkinson.  With actors playing hostages there's melodrama to simulate the real drama of waiting out a hostage standoff.  One of the chief objectives is to keep the bad guy talking to negotiators and get the perpetrator off his game plan.



"Seems very big to them but we have to put it in the perspective of what it is, it's a little smaller than what their intentions are, either killing themselves or killing some hostages," says Jimmy Donohoe with Pensacola Police.  Outside officers are gathering intelligence about the inside--and a tactical team waits.  There's a lot of waiting to make it real.


 "And create as much of the pressure as we possibly can for negotiators to be under so that they'll know how to react in a real life scenario," says Jerry Cox with the Escambia County Sheriff's office.  The training here almost mirrors what we're seeing in Massachusetts today with tactical teams on the street.


"Something like that can happen anywhere," says Judson Beedy with Daphne Police.  "We're here making contacts with people in Florida so if you ever have a problem there are people you can reach out to."

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