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