Training for ‘the real deal’

PIQUA — The future demolition of the High Street School is providing the Piqua Police Department and other neighboring agencies a rare opportunity for physical training in a unique environment. Instead of having to rely solely on simulations, the Piqua Police Department is getting hands-on training for possibly high-stakes situations.

“Until you train with it, you can’t count on doing it the best way way possible,” Piqua Chief of Police Bruce Jamison said in an interview.

Officers have the opportunity to practice what they will actually be performing in a critical situation, and it is training that is not practical for buildings currently in use.

The Piqua Police Department and other agencies will be practicing different tactics for first responders to active threats inside school or commercial buildings. Jamison explained one such tactic as “practice getting into rooms without using the doors.”

A tactical team was using the school earlier this week, practicing its ability to move safely through building, in addition to evacuation methods.

Ultimately, the city of Piqua is expected to benefit as well from this training opportunity.

“We will be much more proficient than we would be without it,” Jamison said. “There’s certain things we don’t have to simulate. It’s the real deal.”

According to a press release about the event, Piqua City Schools is aware and supportive of this training opportunity.

“The police department is grateful for a relationship with its local public school district that includes a willingness to provide this opportunity,” according to the press release. “The experience and proficiency gained by police officers the next few weeks will make our schools and community safer.”

The Piqua Police Department is asking residents not to be alarmed if they see an increased amount of police activity around High Street School over the next few weeks.