Training preps officers for real-life hostage situation

SWAT teams and law enforcement officers trained at Quincy Regional Airport on Monday

Monday was a busy day at the Quincy Regional Airport as local law enforcement agencies gathered for sniper week.

"We have 16 snipers deploying today, along with Adams County Swat Team, and the Quincy Police Department SWAT team," QPD Control Officer Steve Bangert said.

Sniper week is one week of real-world training to keep marksmen at the top of their game.

"It's a training scenario that was set up to give snipers training time along with entry team training time so that all these different entities of the swat team could train together," Bangert added.

So what exactly were they preparing for?

Bangert said it was a scenario involving drug trafficking, training officers if drugs or guns would ever be brought to the airport via plane.

The hostage situation played out like this: two planes arrived at the airport and were then confronted by staff.

Trouble arose and the hostage takers rounded up all hostages in the airport terminal.

The SWAT teams entered to free the hostage and make sure all points of entry were secure.

"They're getting to train on stuff they practice year-in and year-out, they're training on use of radio traffic and camouflage and concealment," Bangert said.

In the end, the simulation was a success. Not only were all hostages accounted for, but sniper teams got real-world practice, something Bangert says should happen everywhere.

"It is good training, it's very important for police departments in all areas, to be prepared for any time of situation that could arise, that would call for a special type of response," he said.