"WARNING – THIS IS A DESIGNATED CONSTRUCTION SITE."
Most people saw the sign outside the big yellow house just up the road from Palmetto High School as just that, a warning to stay away. Demolition was just days away. However, a member of the Village of Pinecrest Police force saw the sign as a rare opportunity for its Tactical Response Team to train.
"It’s a controlled scenario," Sgt. Ivan Osores, the teams’ supervisor told Local 10 Crime Specialist John Turchin. "And we can make mistakes and learn from them. In the real world, if you will, we might not be so lucky."
Pinecrest Police are one of the smaller departments in Miami-Dade County, and don’t have a full-time team. Sometimes they must rely on larger departments for help. So, they viewed this as a win-win situation.
"On a day-to-day basis these guys are patrol officers, out patrolling our streets," said Major Jason Cohen. "This is an chance to get hands on experience and to let our community know we are here, we are prepared, and, if needed, are ready to go."
Every day police officers put themselves in the direct line of fire, entering buildings or homes where armed suspects may be hiding. That’s why these officers spent the day practicing entering homes through doors and windows. And, they invited local 10 to tag along.