Idaho canines by state law have to be able to indentify 16 substances to be used as drug dogs. Our drug dogs have 18 in their repertory. One dog has been trained to sit and bark for suspects that have surrendered and the other dog is a bite dog. Meaning that if the dog is deployed you are going to be bit. The officers stated that it would cost the state 14k if they had not been funded through grants. The vehicles that house the dogs are fully modified for their furry friends. If the AC goes out in the car and it hits a certain temperature the fans in the window kick on, windows roll down and the officer gets an alert on their pager. We saw the dogs take down a perpetrator, and search for drugs. The malamutes are very aggressive animals and I would never own this breed because of my children.
Next we went into a briefing on clearing rooms as part of a team like SWAT would during a hostage situation. We were briefed on team member positioning and how to clear a room and the priority of people was also discussed 1. Hostages 2. Civilians 3. Officers 4. Suspects, which I took as the priority of saving in a room clearing situation. So the number 1 person has to clear 2 walls, the number 2 person has to clear one wall and 3,4 pop around the door frame and clear the center of the room. This is all supposed to be in one fluid movement. At this time we were all issued airsoft weapons and facemasks. Positions as they are supposed to happen as below.
Our group did not do so well on the first go around. I was the number 4 guy on the team and I was supposed to announce the "go" command. So I yelled go loudly and the number 2 person nearly jumped out of her skin. Number 1 goes inside the door sees the hostage and the suspect and does a Charlie's Angel pose with one knee down and aiming his weapon at the suspect before clearing his walls, 3 goes through and I follow aiming at the suspects head. In hind sight I should have shot at that point but with the innocent moving back and forth I was hesitant to risk the shot. So there we all are sitting there looking at the helpless hostage and the suspect when they start backing into another room. Still no one is moving and they are going deeper into the other room. I start yelling to drop the weapon and moving closer to the suspect. Still no one moves, I then tell one and two to start moving in the other room. At which point we here a shot, the suspect was shot (he even yells he has been shot). I want to rush in and start to move and then the safety officer calls stop. I should have taken that shot and ordering people in by their numbers was not effective either but I had to get them moving. The safety officer basically told us what a cluster it was and gave us one more chance.
The second scenario was that a lone gunman was suicidal. Same order we go inside see that he is alone. I call the team to back out the door. To which we did. The safety officer calls stop and asks me why we exited the room. Short answer is that suicidal people who hold themselves hostage are not a risk to anyone but themselves. Pulling out the team ensures that no one else gets hurt. We did much better this time.
I think for the saftey of my family I will be attending an advanced pistol course for room clearing. This has shown that there is a huge gap in my training, one I am grateful to have time to fix.