Local swat team trains for the unthinkable

LEWISTON, ID - The Lewiston Police Department Swat Team is doing their part to prepare for the unthinkable, by taking part in an active shooter training exercise today at the village center cinema.

Reporter Sophia Miraglio goes inside a realistic training scenario to find out what law enforcement has to do to keep the public safe.

Sometimes we have to think the unthinkable when it comes to violence within our community, so we can be prepared for anything. As history has shown, it can happen anywhere.

"With the situation in Colorado we wanted to make everyone here familiar with the layout of the cinema theaters," said Lewiston Police Department Swat Team Commander Captain Tom Greene.

The mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado left 12 dead, numerous injured, and law enforcement across the nation looking at high-risk areas.

"We just try to anticipate where a problem might occur and try to train and be proactive," said Greene.

Dressed in full tactical gear, the Lewiston Police Department Swat Team swept the theater, like they would if reacting to an active shooter.

"Some of the most difficult areas are stairways, blind corners," said Greene. "Here in the movie theatre you've got all kinds of seating where people can be down behind it."

"There are a lot of obstacles," said Lewiston Police Department Swat Team Leader Michael Rigney. "We just always train like it was real, that just how we prepare for everything."

And preparing doesn't come lightly for the special weapons and tactics team.

"Members of the Swat Team receive a lot higher level of training than the average patrol officer does," said Greene.

"A lot of our guys carry over from patrol, and I expect these guys to take the lead on those when they come in," said Rigney.

The prestigious Swat Team is made up of officers from Lewiston Police Department, Nez Perce County and the Clarkston Police Department.