News: Noblesville Police Department’s elite conduct tactical training at Camp Atterbury
Story by Ashley Roy
EDINBURGH, Ind. - Visible through the tree line, a unit of armed men donned in Kevlar approach an abandoned area with multiple structures. Keeping a low-profile and breaking into smaller units, they spread out, clearing each building systematically.
This scenario, loosely modeled after the large-scale manhunt for former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner in February 2013, is one of many training exercises the Noblesville Police Department’s Emergency Services Unit, will conduct during their bi-annual training at Camp Atterbury Joint Manuever Training Center, Edinburgh, Ind., said Lt. Jon Williams, ESU Commander, Noblesville Police Department.
The 20 member team arrived March 10 to begin a week of training.
Consisting of officers from the Noblesville, Westfield and Tipton Police Departments, and the Noblesville Fire Department, the ESU began training on known-distance ranges, moving to mounted facilities and the Urban Assault Center for small-unit tactics midweek.
“All the guys on the team, including the management of the team really look forward to getting down here because we are able to focus just on the things that we need to do for the tactical team,” said Williams.
With the resources available at Atterbury, the unit can take situations they have faced on the job and run similar scenarios, adapting training to improve their response and take what they learn back with them.
“Atterbury gives us an opportunity to utilize different training areas and ranges that we just can’t get anywhere else up in Noblesville or Hamilton County. The characteristic of the ranges and the shoot house and the urban assault center lend themselves to the type of training that our tactical team needs to perfect some of the skill sets we utilize in operations and in training back in Noblesville,” said Williams.
The training week culminates with exercises ran at the Atterbury live fire shoot house, a training venue that allows law enforcement and military to practice tactical operations and room clearing while firing live ammunition.
Christopher Macy, Assistant Team Leader for the ESU and night patrolman with the Noblesville Police Department, says the live fire shoot house is by far his favorite part of training at the installation.
“We’re able to do what we do with live ammo, and that adds a little bit of realism to the training, amps it up just a small bit for us. We’re incapable of doing it anywhere else.”
The team was activated in 2001 and has been using the Atterbury training facilities for six years.
Macy, a member of the ESU for eight years, has participated in multiple training exercises at Atterbury and seen the evolution of capabilities over time.
“The facilities have gotten better and better each year. It adds a little bit of change to our training for us,” he said.
Williams is grateful that such state-of-the-art facilities exist so close to home and that the military has opened them up to civilians and law enforcement for training.
“There are no other training areas anywhere close to us, or anywhere in Central Indiana where we can come train for an entire week, put the rest of the job requirements for Noblesville aside and focus strictly on tactical team training,” continues Williams.
“We really appreciate the use of the facilities. We couldn’t do any of this back at home,” said Macy.