Pennington County Special Response Team trains in former Star Academy building

Local News

CUSTER, SD (KELO) — When an emergency call comes in, first responders have to be ready for any situation. Every year the Pennington County Special Response Team comes together to train for a variety of scenarios.

From snipers to negotiators, the Special Response Team is training for it all.

“Every single month, every element trains on their own but a couple times a year we try to bring everybody together and at least once a year to bring the entire operation to include our dispatch unit, our negotiators, our medics, our entry folks, and our snipers,” Capt. Tony Harrison, Commander of the SRT, said.

This building, which was once the Star Academy was a juvenile detention center for boys and girls out here in the Black Hills.

It has been shutdown for years.

“Because this building is going to be demolished to do things that we can’t normally do with our training sites. When we are inside the civic center or the hospital or the Monument or a school, we can’t break windows, break doors and do stuff like that. We can do that here because it is being demolished,” Capt. Harrison said.

The goal of this mission is to save this hostage. And to do so peacefully. That’s why negotiators, like Ryan Cook, are here.

“So as a negotiations team, we work to not only gather intelligence but also to reach out to the offender, the offender’s family members and see what we can learn about them and hopefully communicate with that person and bring these things to an end without additional violence,” Cook said.

“This team is a life-saving team so we are only here to save lives not do anything else other than that and so our goal is to be the best-trained team in the state of South Dakota and I really believe that we are,” Capt. Harrison said.

The Special Response Team training will continue throughout the day with different scenarios.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Continuing The Conversation
See Full Weather Forecast

Trending Stories

Don't Miss!

More Don't Miss