SPAC is scene of park police active shooter training

April 25, 2019 07:44 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS - It's not something you expect to see at the area's most popular concert venue.

Police running in full military gear while carrying automatic weapons (incapable of firing a live round).

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However, organizers of this state park police active shooter training held at SPAC this week say the training is a sign of the times.

A mobile command center serves as the headquarters for the response and allows leaders to get a bird's eye view of SPAC's grounds, thanks to a drone flying overhead.

One scenario has an officer down with a gunshot wound and others rushing back stage to rescue him.

The park police say SPAC's massive layout and its mixture of indoor and outdoor locations presents some difficulties to responding police.

"It's a great place to come and see a show," said Captain James Hy, who heads up operations for the state park police.

It's a wonderful place to police and to work, but it does have its challenges because of the setup of it, the large grass expanses, multiple entrances and parking lots being on-site and off-site -- so it does have some challenges."

New York Park Police Colonel Mark Van Wie said his agency is also now providing new kits to officers that contain ballistic helmets and ballistic vests for extra protection during active shooter situations.


Mark Mulholland

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