David Rosen
Seattle Police SWAT Team members rush into a classroom at the Genesee Hill School Building during a training exercise on Feb. 15.

SLIDESHOW: Seattle SWAT trains at Genesee Hill for an 'Active school shooting'

By David Rosen

The Genesee Hill School Building (5012 SW Genesee St) was the training ground for the Seattle Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team Feb. 15 honing their response to active school shootings.

Officer Mike Solan talked with the West Seattle Herald. “The reason the SWAT Team is here tonight is because the building itself is vacant and Seattle Public Schools were gracious enough to let us use it. Basically this training is for our response to an active shooter, a situation involving public schools, private schools, any kind of large business, anywhere like a mall that has a lot of people gathered that could be a mass casualty and a response would be needed, Virginia Tech comes to mind," Solan said.

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"Our full team is here tonight, a full team of officers which is around 28 people. We alternate monthly as far as day training or night training and this month is night training.”

Sergeant JD Miller said, “It's an opportunity for us in an active shooter situation where you've got multiple casualties for us to go in and put an end to that early on. We also realize that we're not going to have any control on when the event occurs, so we may show up and it may be four SWAT operators that that have arrived or two SWAT operators and patrol officers that have arrived in advance. We have about a dozen patrol officers that have volunteered to come and assist us and they are integrating from other stations so that we make sure that our tactics are congruent with theirs."

Miller explained that there were three stations set up. "One where we just see SWAT operators working on how we do our clearing deep into a building with an active shooter, going through areas that are unprotected, leaving unprotected areas behind us but giving us 360 degree protection as we move through and look for the active shooter."

Miller continued, "Our next station is where you have patrol officers integrated with us so we're using a diamond configuration which is something that they were taught in a tactical section which our training unit does so that we can work with them and that they understand what were going to do and were going to understand what there movement is going to be.

The last station was for what Miller called "fundamental room breaks" , involving, "some clearing, areas of responsibility and sort of breaking it down. All of the groups will switch between stations. Later on we will be working on some scenario situations which then the operators will be debriefed on the situations."

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