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SOURCE: JUAN WILSON juanwilson@mac.com

POSTED: 19 AUGUST 2007 - 6:00pm HST

image above: Mississippi SWAT team storms high school as part of simulation

[Editor's Note: Practicing for Columbine. It is a fightening and revolting idea. Bringing SWAT teams onto our school campuses to rehearse a psychotic killing spree is bad idea. What is wrong with the Department of Education? Is this really what we need to be learning at Kapaa High. It is desensitizing to our students and goes hand in hand with recruitment drives by the military to sucker our children into serving in Iraq.]

Kauai SWAT Trains for School Shooting
by Brooks Baehron 17 August 2007 for KGMB Channel 9 News

Dozens of Kauai police officers converged on Kapaa High School on Kauai Friday. They were not responding to an actual emergency, but practicing special operations tactics they would employ in the event of a shooting on campus.

KGMB9 cameraman George Hurd took viewers inside the training exercise by following the Kauai SWAT team every step of the way.

The gunfire, bloodshed and frightened faces were eerily reminiscent of campus shootings at Columbine and Virginia Tech. But again the commotion at Kapaa High was just pretend, an exercise to prepare police just in case.

As officers approached the school they heard a startling message over the radio from a fellow officer.

"Shots fired. Shots fired. I've been hit!"
said police officers.

They arrived to find several people, including students, who've been shot.
"The scenario is, someone who is actively shooting in a public building, in this instance in a school," said Bill Barchers, with Hard Tactics Corporation, the Hawaii company that conducted the exercise.

"They really script the scenarios to a point where it does get your heart pumping," said Sgt. Todd Tanaka.

Students played the roles of victims, gunmen and stage hands.

"My function in all this is setting off the smoke machine to make a simulation of a fire or an explosive charge that one of the perpetrators has just set off," said Kapaa High School student Phill Hawlay.

The officers had two primary functions; find and neutralize the shooters, and get all the injured students out of the danger zone.

"The game plan is to get assistance to the injured as fast as the situation will allow it," Barchers said.

"I feel we have learned a lot. And again, hopefully we never have to use this training in a real life situation," said Sgt. Ezra Kanoho.

"Because things like this do unfortunately happen in our society, we need to prepare ourselves," said Lt. Hank Barriga, "We need to have this kind of training and to continue to train like this so we can better serve the public."

"I can't imagine the situation being handled any better with the size of the force that the Kauai Police Department has. You know, I just think they do a great job," Barchers added.

The Kauai Police Department is the smallest in the state. It has just 130 officers. But while the force is small, it is still training for the biggest emergencies.