Local law enforcement trains to save lives (with photos)

By Jillian Marshall

March 6, 2014 Updated Mar 6, 2014 at 12:52 PM EDT

Town of Fenton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Police officers took down suspects wielding guns and knives and saved hostages Wednesday afternoon, all for an annual training exercise.

The Broome County Sheriff's Office in-service training places officers in real-life scenarios to test their response.

The training this year focused on active homicides and active shooters, as well as taser and weapons handling.

Three drills were set up throughout the Hillcrest Depot.

The first drill was an active homicide shooter during daylight hours. Officers entered a room with two hostages at gunpoint with the goal to terminate the shooter before anyone is harmed.

"They don't know where the furniture is at, where the door is at, what the room looks like, very much so what they are going to encounter out on the streets," said Training Director for the Broome County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Ben Harting.

The next drill was in complete darkness.

"It's very loud, a lot of flash bangs, gunshots, darkness, bright lights, a lot of noise, screaming people," Harting said. "We try to throw a lot at them, just like it would be like in the real world."

Officers had to determine where and who the suspect was -- with only their flashlights.

The third scenario was the box drill. Law enforcement officers were faced with a real life situation on how they would react when somebody approaches them not knowing if they need help or would try to hurt them.

The officer is armed with a gun, with fake ammunition, and a Taser, with training cartridges, and has to decide within milliseconds on which tool he wants to deploy.

"He has to play his firearm against a deadly weapon; he has to deploy a Taser if it's a hostile subject. Or if he just simply has to use his verbal skills to calm somebody down," Harting said.

Wednesday was day three of four days of active training.

Sixteen people from the sheriff's office, SUNY Binghamton police, Endicott police and SUNY Broome campus safety are all participating in the six-week program.

Harting said completing these exercises exceeds the requirements set by the state.