SWAT team training at vacant facility

CHAMPAIGN — The Metropolitan Emergency Tactical Response Operations (METRO) SWAT Team will conduct training exercises at the now-vacant Joanne Dorsey Homes on Bradley Avenue near McKinley Avenue on Tuesday.

The special weapons and tactics team is composed of officers from the Champaign County Sheriff's Office, Mahomet, Parkland College, Rantoul, University of Illinois and Urbana police departments.

The officers will be doing search warrant and explosive breach training from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the facilities, which are owned by the Housing Authority of Champaign County.

"Our agency invited our law enforcement agencies to conduct training at our facilities and feel that we are providing a great service to them and our community by allowing them access," said Ed Bland, director of the housing authority. "We are asking for the support of our neighboring residents in seeing the value of this training and how it can benefit our community during a crisis situation."

Police remind the public that:

— Onlookers will be discouraged from entering the gated property during training and should pay attention to signs.

— Neighbors and passers-by should not be alarmed by the loud noises they might hear; explosives will be used during the training.

— There will be several police officers and squad cars in the area and possibly media covering the training.

— Limited outdoor activity is expected. The training will take place in two of the buildings located in the northwest part of the property.

Residents living near the property will be notified in advance and signs will be put up at the training site.

Questions or concerns regarding the training exercises may be directed to the Urbana Police Department at 217-384-2320 or the Housing Authority at 217-378-7100.

Comments

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Local Yocal wrote on January 16, 2012 at 10:01 am
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Has The News-Gazette looked at a year's worth or two year's worth of statistics that shows that the SWAT team is predominantly used on African-Amercian households? Hence, the choice and preference in location with this exercise.

hd2006 wrote on January 16, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Or could it just be that the buildings are coming down anyway so why not let the teams use them. Oh but wait,  that wouldn't fit into some peoples need to make everything about race.

Local Yocal wrote on January 16, 2012 at 3:01 pm
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Or could it be the police department make the application of laws and police tactics about race? Surely the statistics of the racial demographics of SWAT-Team use would reveal it was just the buildings coming down anyway; because in a County comprised of only 12% black folks, the stats will surely show patrolling, surveillance, and use of the SWAT team for drug raids will reveal that the vast majority of these law enforcement applications are against white households. Oh wait, some peoples would rather not face reality and kneel before the police no matter how detrimental the police are to their community's reputation.