SWAT team trains at housing complex to be demolished - WDRB 41 Louisville News

SWAT team trains at housing complex to be demolished

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- LMPD Officer Richard Barone led the charge as he and nine other officers kicked in a door at unit 619 at the Sheppard Square housing complex.

But it was all practice -- SWAT and hostage negotiating teams were training because no one lives at Sheppard Square anymore -- it's set to be demolished and replaced with low-income housing.

The scenario, as Officer Richard Barron of the SWAT team explained it, was that there was a "guy in there with AK-47. More than one bad guy in there, it's like the worst-case scenario."  He adds, "It's exciting, get the adrenaline pumping."

Negotiators literally learned the ropes in a rappelling lesson.  The SWAT team's Lt. Brent Routzahn explains, "Recently we've had some calls in the recent past with some suicidal people up on the bridge."

Officers also trained on specialized cameras and how to use thermal technology.  Both teams have been very active as of late, being called into action at least three times in four weeks.

When asked if officers had taken anything from the situation that they may be implementing in their training, Lt. Routzahn replied, "Yes, we're working on more of a perimeter base to get our perimeter established."

Officers also learned how to smash a window and throw a phone inside a room to begin negotiations, or use that window to get inside a building.

Many officers here remember coming to Sheppard Square when it wasn't a drill.  "Being a police officer itself is dangerous," Officer Barron says.  "We just do the next level up.

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