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Batavia PD's emergency response team trains in house on West Main Street

Batavia PD's Emergency Response Team made use of a house on West Main Street headed for the wrecking ball for training this morning.

Assistant Chief of Police Rob Yaeger said the team practiced warrant execution, a barricade gunman scenario and hostage situations.

Even though houses may look the same on the outside, they're often different on the inside, so when a real former residence becomes available, Yaeger said, the department jumps on the opportunity to use it for training. Such buildings only become available once or twice a year.

"It's very useful," Yaeger said. "Usually we'll try at the fire training center or we'll try at other buildings, but nothing beats having the real deal, having an actual house that was used as a regular residence."

The house was made available for training -- first for the Fire Department -- by the owners of Castilone Chrysler, Steve Castilone and Greg Strauss. The dealership is expanding at its present location -- rather than moving out of the city -- and the houses at 310 and 312 W. Main St. are slated for demolition starting Tuesday.

JT Hunt
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instead of absentee landlords, the city should rent out similar quality houses to various law enforcement and maybe even military who need to practice "in home" scenarios. wonder if low budget action movies could use homes to tear up? i'd rather have local / regional / national warriors prepare for deadly situations in a small community than transients (who have no pride in themselves or where they live) settle in from Buffalo or Crackchester...

Matt Hendershott
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Id rather not see military or police training for "in home" scenarios.

Scott Ogle
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Generally I support the police, but I have to agree with Matt here. I think there's too much enthusiasm about paramilitary deployment and SWAT activity. Every department seems to need its own APC. Enough already.

Jeff Allen
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What is your alternative for situations where a potentially dangerous or violent suspect is in a home?

cj sruger
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militarization of our police depts is not good, what are they preparing for? is that a silencer on that m4 in the back or is it a shot gun?

Jeff Allen
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I was too Howard, that is why I posed the question as to an alternative. Maybe this is the alternative:

Mike Weaver
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Many thousands of dollars worth of toys that only get used in training scenarios.

Jason Post
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That is the ideal scenario for emergency response equipment. I feel this falls under the old adage of "better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it."

Scott Ogle
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"Would you prefer police go into highly volatile situation with improper equipment and training, putting themselves and others (both bystanders and suspects) at greater risk of a violent outcome?"

You're kind of making my point, Howard. Going into a highly volatile situation is in itself an escalation of a potentially violent situation. I understand the need for a tactical capability -- in rare instances. But *most* of the time it seems like a matter of waiting the crazy (or crazies) out. Like any other organization, if a PD has a capability, they're going to want to use it. I was amazed when an affluent suburb in the Midwestern town I'm from purchased an armored personnel carrier -- Homeland Security largess -- for what need or purpose I could never determine, or imagine.

Scott Ogle
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"What is your alternative for situations where a potentially dangerous or violent suspect is in a home?"

Were I trapped in such a situation, I don't think I'd want a bunch of officers storming in -- highly trained or not -- throwing flash-bangs with automatic weapons drawn, as a first alternative, I can tell you that. When negotiation has failed, if the bad guys are intractable, as an endgame scenario -- that's another matter. As I said, I understand the need for tactical capability -- and PDs are sometimes finding themselves out-gunned --I just think it's been over sold.

John Woodworth JR
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For Matt (#3) and Scott (#4).

The safety of Law Enforcement Officers and our men and women servicing in the United States Armed Forces in which both put their life on the line to serve and protect us all, is not a matter to take likely.

Too send our Soldiers or LEOs into an hostile scenario without any training is asking for trouble. I would suppose you two would rather see our Soldiers go to battle without training.

Emergency Service Teams (aka SWAT) require constant training. Look at today's military problems with gangs entering our military not to serve or protect our country but, to learn how to combat our local LEOs during SWAT operations. The threats that our LEOs face is evolving every year. That is why tactics and strategy is also evolving.

Training is essential for our LEOs to learn the tactics and strategies of the individuals who do not care about your safety or mine nor those who serve and protect us. As for the military they have their own training centers. For the Batavia PD to have an opportunity to train with an actual residential home in their backyard helps improve their abilities to combat an hostile threat in the community and cost effective by keeping local and in house.

Training is important in our every day life. We educate our minds by going to school, we improve our fitness through sports or exercise and we are trained in how to perform our jobs.

John Woodworth JR
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Cj what does the type of weapon have to do with it? Do you believe that officers should just use handguns? So, not only would the criminal element have better knowledge of their surroundings but, would have firepower superiority. Yes, the average residential home does not have walls that stop rifle bullets but, most SWAT operations evacuate the surrounding area for such reasons.

John Woodworth JR
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Wow! Really you have no idea. I suppose you rather take flowers and an olive branch into the house.

Hench why Emergency Service Teams are trained in how to handle scenarios involving hostages and barricaded suspects. If you find yourself in this type of situation it would be no different whether you are in a school, grocery store, bank or workplace. Keep your hands where the LEOs can see them, obey their instructions such as get down or turn around because any action you take that does not come from the LEOs could be view as an aggressive action.

Just curious Scott but, do you also believe Governor Cuomo's Safe Act will stop violent crimes?

John Woodworth JR
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Scott, making the crazy or crazies wait it out is a little outdated. It may work on someone who barricades themselve but, how about those who take hostages? Active Shooters are not going to wait while they are killing others. So, should the Police just sit and wait? Should the Police allow others to be killed while they "Wait it out?"

Scott Ogle
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"Active Shooters are not going to wait while they are killing others. So, should the Police just sit and wait?"

John, respectfully I'd ask you to take a closer look at what I wrote.

John Roach
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Over time, police departments learned that having trained personal is safer for all.

Of course, if you're sitting at home watching it all on TV, it's easy to say this is all a waste of money. you're nice and safe, right? You're not risking your life.

Jeff Allen
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"Were I trapped in such a situation, I don't think I'd want a bunch of officers storming in -- highly trained or not -- throwing flash-bangs with automatic weapons drawn, as a first alternative" Scott, I don't think anyone indicated that tactical force was being trained as a first alternative and our local law enforcement agencies have shown proper restraint in a variety of difficult situations of late.

Dave Meyer
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Thanks John Woodworth for adding some necessary perspective to this conversation.

What some of the small minded commentators don't seem to realize is that this team is composed of VOLUNTEERS from Batavia PD and the GC Sheriff's Dept.

They VOLUNTEER for this additional training and they VOLUNTEER to put their well being at risk in the event that they ever have to save YOUR sorry ass from a potentially life threatening situation or to take out some crackhead that's ruining a neighborhood or (God forbid) some school shooter.

As for governmental largesse....how would you rather see tax $$ spent? Properly equipping and training your local police, or building a bridge to nowhere? That's an easy one for me.

And....my thanks to the officers who volunteer for this team.

Scott Ogle
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Put "swat mistaken address" into Google and see what you find.

I'd think the example below, from the libertarian Cato Institute, would send shivers down the libertarian spine. But then, maybe I've got libertarian wrong:

http://www.cato.org/raidmap

Lori Silvernail
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The part of this article that actually bothers me the most, is the demolition of Peter's Delicatessen. I grew up in that store and have so many fond memories of it. My 25 cent allowance went far at their candy counter, and they knew we were sitting on the window ledge reading comic books for free and never said a word to us. Good people, those Peters...

Scott Ogle
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Howard, how much training is required to find the correct address or apartment number?

This in Buffalo last year:

http://www.buffalonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130604/CITYANDRE...

Jeff Allen
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Scott, is there a history of our local law enforcement (Batavia City Police, Genesee Co. Sheriffs, State Troop A) performing tactical raids on wrong addresses? Are there any? We do ourselves a disservice when we allow what happened in other places to prevent us from acting at all. When something goes awry somewhere else, most agencies use that as an opportunity to put safeguards, checks, and double checks into place to prevent repeating the same mistake. If you are heading toward the Police State argument then go there, but this is about ensuring that our local LEO's are staying on point in a corroding society.

Scott Ogle
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Jeff, as I've mentioned before in this space, I've experienced a police state (Czechoslovakia '72 - '73) and the United States is no police state. So, getting beyond that, did I say there was a history of police making raids on wrong houses in Batavia or Genesee Co.? No. But I gave an example in nearby Buffalo. And it's no isolated incident. As I mentioned at the beginning of this thread, I generally support the police, and feel they generally do a great job protecting and serving us. But I think SWAT tactics (while admittedly on rare occasion necessary), and no-knock raids, offer special dangers to both citizens and constitutional guarantees.

C. M. Barons
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The fact that seems to have eluded some: the building used in this training drill was purchased for demolition prior to the drill. The opportunity became apparent ex post facto. Our emergency responders often take advantage of such opportunities for fire training. As much as I recognize concern over the perception that law enforcement has been beefing up its hardware acquisitions- some see this as an indicator of future police state. It need also be recognized that a parallel development of fire-power has been building in the private sector. Personal arsenals used to amount to a couple shotguns and a rifle; we now see assault rifles, homemade bombs and safe rooms. It may be lamentable that the era of cops on foot-patrol with a night stick has passed. The reason that era passed has much to do with the magnitude of armaments available to the bad guys and crazies. This is the blow-back for insistence on gun NON-control. Until we concede that a middle ground exists where-by the spirit of the Second Amendment AND public safety can be preserved through reasonable ownership laws, the arsenals on both sides of the badge will escalate.

Frank Bartholomew
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Given Batavia's close proximity to Buffalo and Rochester, I would encourage this type of training all day long.
How many of us would volunteer our time at our jobs ?

JT Hunt
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I concur sir. The house razing occurs after the big city folks move on. I was just being one step ahead. That's how I roll

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