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Officers train in old police headquarters

'Shooter' drills put officers in familiar ground

Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013 6:35 PM
Last updated Monday, Sept. 9, 2013 12:09 AM
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The old sheriff’s administration building has sat nearly vacant for close to a year, but in August about 300 officers filed through the hallways with weapons drawn for “active shooter” training.

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Instructor Oleg Grinko (second from right) looks on as members of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office participate in active shooter training.   EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Instructor Oleg Grinko (second from right) looks on as members of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office participate in active shooter training.


“It’s going to be the most gut-wrenching situation you’ve ever been in,” instructor Oleg Grinko told a class of Richmond County officers during a session last week. “You’re going to pass bodies – God forbid, children – but you’ve got to go in.”

Teams of officers took turns filing through hallways that once housed investigators and administrators but now had only scattered filing cabinets, telephones, dusty desks and empty boxes. The goal was to find and eliminate the source of gunshots that echoed through the halls.

In a large room littered with bullet casings just outside former Sheriff Ronnie Strength’s office door, two men equipped with two AR-15 rifles and two Glock handguns, loaded with paint cartridges, had a shootout with teams of officers.

Each time was different. Sometimes a shooter committed suicide and other times they surrendered after the shootout. Officers had a split second after coming face to face with the shooters to determine the best course of action.

“You’ve got to pay attention,” Sgt. Everett Jenkins, who played a shooter in the training exercise, told the deputies. “We’re expendable. Period. We signed up for this.”

Lt. Bill Probus said the training was adopted shortly after the Columbine school shootings in 1999. The training has continued to adapt to different scenarios. Instructors declined to detail the
specifics of training techniques because of safety concerns.

In the past, the sheriff’s office has conducted similar training exercises at schools, commercial establishments and the “shoot house” in Blythe. The former Richmond County Sher­iff’s Office building offered another option for training.

Sheriff’s administration moved from the building in Sep­tember 2012. The jail booking area remains open, but employees occupy only the bottom floor.

“It’s mainly vacant and it gives us a wide variety of different scenarios we can set up,” Probus said.

Long hallways, stairwells and various intersection points give police an opportunity to practice different skills learned during the class.

“A lot of the feedback from the deputies say it’s some of the best training we’ve had,” Probus said.

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Little Lamb
49343
Points
Little Lamb 09/08/13 - 09:14 pm
5
1
Mold

The Sheriff Department told taxpayers that the building was unsafe for prisoners and workers because of mold infestation. But now, during the wettest summer in anyone's memory, they are conducting training in there and the instructors and trainees are as cheerful as bugs in a rug.

I think we taxpayers have been lied to. There was nothing wrong with the building other than lackadaisical maintenance protocols. We have been had again. If the building was as bad as Ronnie Strength said, there would be hazardous site tape warnings all around the perimeter saying, “Keep Out!”.

Riverman1
94467
Points
Riverman1 09/09/13 - 04:21 am
4
0
Mold Again

LL is right. From the CDC:

"The term "toxic mold" is not accurate. While certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins (specifically mycotoxins), the molds themselves are not toxic, or poisonous. Hazards presented by molds that may produce mycotoxins should be considered the same as other common molds which can grow in your house. There is always a little mold everywhere - in the air and on many surfaces. There are very few reports that toxigenic molds found inside homes can cause unique or rare health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss. These case reports are rare, and a causal link between the presence of the toxigenic mold and these conditions has not been proven."

willie Lee
423
Points
willie Lee 09/09/13 - 04:22 am
3
0
Don't forget Little Lamb
Unpublished

You are dealing with limited intelligence here!

Riverman1
94467
Points
Riverman1 09/09/13 - 04:29 am
4
2
Once That Ball Starts to Roll

It's interesting that once the ball starts to roll it's almost impossible to stop it. No one wanted to step up and tell the truth about mold and that building. Everything was exaggerated including the health woes. It was said the leaks were impossible to fix on the less than 20 year old building. The county just HAD to build a new law enforcement center.

I suggest they stop playing there and damaging the building. It's county property that could be sold or put to better use.

soapy_725
44164
Points
soapy_725 09/09/13 - 05:05 am
0
0
Asphalt & concrete. Money makers. And it is all about MONEY.
Unpublished

Asphalt & concrete. Money makers. And it is all about MONEY.

soapy_725
44164
Points
soapy_725 09/09/13 - 05:06 am
0
0
Bell Auditorium. Court House. Jail. RCSO HQ. Library.
Unpublished

Bell Auditorium. Court House. Jail. RCSO HQ. Library.

soapy_725
44164
Points
soapy_725 09/09/13 - 05:07 am
0
0
Unsafe. Unusable. NOT. Holes for money to be spent. YES
Unpublished

Unsafe. Unusable. NOT. Holes for money to be spent. YES

soapy_725
44164
Points
soapy_725 09/09/13 - 05:08 am
0
0
Conspiracy to defraud and rob ARC taxpayers. TRUTH.
Unpublished

Conspiracy to defraud and rob ARC taxpayers. TRUTH.

Little Lamb
49343
Points
Little Lamb 09/09/13 - 08:04 am
1
0
Slum

The building was originally slated for demolition and the property to be turned into a parking lot. But now that the entire downtown is to be declared a slum, they might as well allow the building to deteriorate slowly like the old Davidson School building over on Telfair Street.

- - - - - - - - -

Edited to fix a split infinitive. LL

Little Lamb
49343
Points
Little Lamb 09/09/13 - 08:08 am
1
0
Photos

Those photos up above must have been fun for Emily Bennett to shoot. But they bring up a question. The ceilings, floors, walls and furnishings look spotless. Not a speck of mold (or even dust) anywhere. We have had a wet, wet, summer; followed by hot and humid days. Are taxpayers still paying to air condition that building even though it is vacant? If so, shame on Fred Russell for wasting that utility money on a building slated for demolition.

urright
465
Points
urright 09/09/13 - 08:17 am
1
0
Col. Co.

Hate to bring it up, but Columbia County Sheriff's Office has been doing this training yearly for the past ten years. Glad RC finally caught up...

seenitB4
98779
Points
seenitB4 09/09/13 - 08:24 am
3
0
THEY NEED the training ...

Try to be positive about this....yall are worried about the mold problem & they are training for guns in schools.....let me see...guns? mold?
Give them a break!

Geez guys...go split some infinitives.

urright
465
Points
urright 09/09/13 - 08:48 am
1
0
Second photo

Love the gun fingers!

countyman
21702
Points
countyman 09/09/13 - 11:21 am
2
0
The old Davidson school was

The old Davidson school was sold to an private developer

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