from whitman times/daily dose of terror: What if foreign terrorists linked to al-Qaeda besieged several area schools and took students hostage? That’s a frightening “what if?” question that attracted hundreds of police officers, firefighters and medics from dozens of communities and agencies to Whitman’s Holt School on a recent Saturday morning.
To test local law enforcement’s response to such a scenario, Officers Bob Stokinger and Andrew Stafford, who are members of the Old Colony Special Operations Team, suggested holding the drill at the former school building on Essex Street…
The vacant Holt School, once used as the town’s high school, is set to be demolished early this year. The town is looking into building a new police station on the former school site.
Special Operations Tactical Training International, which specializes in military, law enforcement and corrections special operations, conducted the drill, said Whitman Police Chief Christine May-Stafford.
The drill simulated an incident in which terrorists simultaneously besieged a school in Whitman and five other Massachusetts schools, she said.
“They were threatening to blow up the school unless they talked to someone in charge and their demands were met,” May-Stafford said…
Adding to the magnitude of the scenario, live ammunition, smoke grenades, and flash-bang grenades were used in the final assault on the school…
“The jobs of both police and fire departments are always broadening and we must train for every possible scenario. It is unfortunate that our departments must train for situations like we trained for on Saturday (Jan. 19), but in this time of world-wide as well as domestic terrorism we must train for all situations.”
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