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Training Day

By: Justin Ware
By: Justin Ware

It certainly looked and sounded like a scary situation Friday in Stevens Point.

Students from the Stevens Point Area High School were held down by actors portraying violent gunmen.

"It was a little disconcerting. Once the initial shock was over, you kind of realize, 'oh, these are the good guys, they're coming in here to get us out of here,’" said Mary Banovetz, a student actor.

The good guys are the special response teams from the Portage County Sheriff's and Stevens Point Police Departments.

Along with the gun-toting troops that go in as a last ditch resort, a team of negotiators were at work in a separate room trying to calm the situation before anyone got hurt, and officials at the event say those negotiators are the main reason why these training sessions are held.

"Because, you set up the perimeter and contain, but the real work in law enforcement involves the negotiation process," said Chief Jeff Morris of the Stevens Point Police Department.

The goal is to have most situations diffused before any violence occurs, and Morris says that's what training sessions like these are so important.