Officers Swarm Statehouse... for Practice - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Officers Swarm Statehouse... for Practice

Posted: Updated:

Jessica Daley


Tuesday night's drill involved 10 agencies and three different scenarios for what to do if a white powder is found at the Statehouse.

Men and women in white suits and uniforms took over the top floor of the building in the name of safety.

"We go through things like this to try to improve our response time, our skills," said Iowa State Patrol spokesman Sgt. Scott Bright. "If we're going to make a mistake, this is the time to do it."

First responders played out situations in the Senate and House chambers as well as the library that involved a white powder. This is the first hands–on training at the Statehouse since the scare with Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad back in April. During that situation, the building went on lock down. While everyone ended up being fine, some lawmakers were upset with how the situation was handled.

With officer turnover, new technology, and lessons learned in past situations, practicing is key.

"Our job is to keep the public safe and by training and learning different things and how we can improve, we can make that happen," Bright said.

Securing the hot zone, identifying the substance, and decontaminating people were all practiced.

Officers say the agencies have had meetings to discuss what worked and what didn't work when responding in April and incorporated those changes.

"Hopefully nothing like this will ever happen again in the state of Iowa," said Bright. "But we have to be prepared."

Officials said these training exercises are a great way for the agencies to learn how to work together, share resources, and build relationships so that when there is an emergency they can perform better.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WOI. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.