Counter-ter­ror train­ing

Gatton Star - - NEWS - Tara Miko tara.miko@thechron­i­cle.com.au

THREE coun­cil work­ers taken hostage near the Cress­brook Dam pump sta­tion were res­cued by armed po­lice in a swift but deadly counter-at­tack.

The train­ing ex­er­cise ran through a num­ber of sce­nar­ios where a ve­hi­cle with an un­known num­ber of of­fend­ers in­side rammed through a coun­cil bar­ri­cade at the dam.

When the coun­cil work­ers failed to re­turn af­ter con­fronting the sus­pects, two po­lice units were de­ployed to in­ves­ti­gate, trig­ger­ing an armed re­sponse in an ef­fort to res­cue the hostages.

While a tightly con­trolled train­ing ex­er­cise, re­cent lo­cal and global events have demon­strated the need for po­lice of­fi­cers to up-skill and op­er­ate on in­stinct to crit­i­cal in­ci­dents.

Ac­tively en­gag­ing armed of­fend­ers is a ma­jor change from pre­vi­ous stan­dard op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dures of iso­lat­ing the threat and call­ing for re­in­force­ments.

“Pre­vi­ously with ac­tive armed of­fender train­ing last year, our method­ol­ogy was to iso­late and con­tain an area and call for re­in­force­ments,” Dar­ling Downs City Pa­trol Group In­spec­tor Stephen An­gus said.

“Un­for­tu­nately in light of re­cent events both here and over­seas, where peo­ple are ac­tively killing or harm­ing peo­ple, our of­fi­cers will be re­quired to go for­ward and neu­tralise the threat.

“We’re giv­ing our of­fi­cers ex­po­sure to a live-train­ing en­vi­ron­ment to en­hance their skills and im­prove those skills, in ad­di­tion to pre­vi­ous rounds of ac­tive armed of­fender train­ing al­ready un­der­taken last year,” Insp An­gus said.

“We’re build­ing on those skills and im­prov­ing the ca­pac­ity of our of­fi­cers to, heaven for­bid, a counter-ter­ror­ism event should oc­cur.”

Sev­eral rapid re­sponse sce­nar­ios were fol­lowed by a pro­tracted hostage ne­go­ti­a­tion and res­cue mis­sion ear­lier this month test­ing the skills and re­sources read­ily avail­able in the re­gion.

Insp An­gus said the deadly sit­u­a­tion which con­fronted Se­nior Con­sta­ble Brett Forte and his col­leagues on May 29 this year - a tragic re­minder of the dan­gers po­lice could face at any time - re­mained fresh in of­fi­cers’ minds.

“Un­for­tu­nately our of­fi­cers can be con­fronted with a whole range of in­ci­dents, some crit­i­cal and cer­tainly life en­dan­ger­ing, so I think it’s safe to say our of­fi­cers at­tend­ing ... take th­ese ex­er­cises very se­ri­ously as a way and mech­a­nisms to up-skill their cur­rent skills, train­ing and ca­pa­bil­i­ties over­all,” he said.

Queens­land Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices, Queens­land Am­bu­lance and Aus­tralian De­fence Force per­son­nel, as well as coun­cil and com­mu­nity vol­un­teers, took part in the train­ing.

PHOTO: NEV MAD­SEN

OF­FENDER DOWN: Con­sta­bles Dy­lan Woody­att and Danielle Buck­ley check a fallen of­fender dur­ing counter ter­ror­ism train­ing.

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