The abandoned buildings and roadways at the former Lake County Fairgrounds site in Grayslake provided the perfect backdrop for a series of critical incident training scenarios organized by the College of Lake County Police Department July 23 and 30.
Six officers and two instructors from CLC participated in the event, as well as six officers and three instructors from the Waukegan Police Department, according to CLC Police Chief Tom Guenther.
In addition, four CLC community service officers played the roles of offenders, hostages and victims, Guenther said, providing necessary realism.
The events allowed police trainers to create realistic incidents that officers will encounter on the job and to practice the skills necessary to deal with them, Guenther said. The officers practiced scenarios involving armed gunmen, vehicle stops, a crime in progress, a barricaded subject and hostages.
To further the realism, officers use "simmunitions" in weapons that have been converted to shoot pellets of nonlethal rounds.
CLC Police Commander Ed Mohn said that using the old fairgrounds "allows us to practice realistic training situations at a site that has roads and abandoned buildings."
"We're able to effectively replicate real situations so officers can practice their techniques. And since the property is removed from residential areas, it causes no alarm to the public," Mohn said.
The scenarios involved teaching, demonstrating and practicing first responder skills, which provided valuable practice, according to Mohn.
"We never want our officers to face a situation they haven't seen before. This type of training makes CLC a safer place because our officers are well prepared for many types of threatening situations," Mohn said.
The July training sessions were a continuation of the CLC Police Department's active shooter training for officers and members of the college's emergency management team.
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