If you notice what looks like a SWAT team at the Captain Warren House in Edgartown this morning, there's no cause for alarm: The Island-wide police tactical response team has asked the town's permission to use the dilapidated structure for training in search techniques.
"We use the Wesley House frequently, but the guys know every room," Edgartown Police Sgt. Jamie Craig told selectmen Monday afternoon. "There are no surprises."
Using the town-owned Warren House, next door to the Edgartown Public Library, will give officers "terrain they haven’t seen before," Craig continued.
Wednesday's training will not be a dramatic affair, Craig assured selectmen: Officers will be conducting "slow, methodical searches" for people hidden in the building.
There will be "no big dynamic movements, no crashing and bashing around," he said: The team will be "just creeping around slowly."
Nonetheless, Craig said, there will be signs posted indicating that a police training exercise is underway, "so people don't think anything's real.
"We learned that early," he added.
According to the Edgartown Police Department website,
The Tactical Response Team (T.R.T) is designed to provide the island’s communities with a flexible and effective response to unconventional and high risk law enforcement incidents, thereby increasing the likelihood of a safe resolution.
Its basic premise is that a select group of highly motivated and well-conditioned officers, specially equipped and trained to function as a tactical unit in a variety of situations, can be more effectively and safely employed for critical incidents which exceed the capability of standard police resources.
Incidents to which the team may respond include but are not limited to: hostage situations and negotiations, barricaded suspects, sniper situations, active shooters, service of high-risk warrants, searches for armed subjects, VIP protection, civil disorder and other special events.
Officers James Craig and Nicholas Phelps represent the Edgartown Police Department on the Martha’s Vineyard Law Enforcement Council Tactical Response Team.
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