Some people are learning more about what’s behind the split-second decisions made by authorities. It started out a typical night at citizens police academy in Rochester.

Then a S.W.A.T. team rushed in “It blinds you for a moment because there’s a big flash of light, it deafens you. It gives us about two seconds to get in the door, the most dangerous place,” said Rochester Police Lt. Jeff Stillwell. The surprise entrance wasn’t for nabbing a criminal, but to teach a lesson.

“We only brought five people in here. A room this size with this many people, in real life, would take a lot more operators. We always try to out-number the people inside the house by preferably two to one,” Stillwell said.

It’s a lesson on how the Rochester and Olmsted County Emergency Response Unit or the S.W.A.T. team deals with dangerous situations.

“Anything where there is a high risk or a high threat with weapons involved,” said Rochester Police Sgt. Kent Perlich.
Like hostage situations or high risk search warrants.

“We try to be the utmost professionals in handling them situations and ensuring them that they have a peace of mind and that we’re doing all we can to keep the city safe,” Sgt. Perlich said.

But the citizens didn’t only sit back in their seats. They got hands on experience, an experience many were looking forward to.
“I’ve shot a weapon before. It will be nice to grab a Glock and take another couple of shots on the range for free,” said Participant Daniel Nash.

So now these citizens know what’s behind some of the decisions police are forced to make. “It’s just a preparation and staying ahead of the criminal element out there,” Sgt. Perlich said.

Read the rest of Jill Kasparie’s article at KAALTV.

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