ORISKANY – The fourth annual Excelsior Challenge has many law enforcement officers taking part in exercises designed to prepare them for real-life threats.
Bomb squads and tactical teams all took part in a series of training exercises Wednesday at the State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany. The scenarios ranged from an active shooter situation at a concert to police K9 units sweeping for explosive materials.
Many of the training exercises are centered around getting different agencies to work together as a team.
More than 45 agencies participated in the training, including officers from the Utica Police Department and the Madison and Oneida county sheriff’s offices.
“It's a great benefit because at some point, someday, maybe we're going to have to deal with these guys and we're going to have to train with these, you know, we're going to have to work with these guys,” said Lt. James Holt of the Utica Police Department. “So, obviously you want to do it in a training-based scenario first. Then in a real life scenario, if that was ever to come, that's where we're going to benefit from it.
This exercise involved multiple shooters positioned throughout the newest venue at the State Preparedness Training Center, the SWFT (Swift Water Flood Training) facility. It’s used for swift water and flood rescue raining.