Local Police Watch Boston - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Local Police Watch Boston

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 by Phil Prazan

pprazan@myabc5.com

@PhilPrazan

Metro officers receive piles of information about these national events.  It started after the Columbine shootings in the late 90s.

Fast forward to now and information from Boston will trickle down to policies here in Iowa.

Shutting down neighborhoods and going house to house searching for a dangerous suspect is something no police department wants to do.

But constant training for any situation prepares central Iowa police and the Department of Public Safety for just that situation.

The Metro's Special Tactics and Response, or STAR Team trains every month in small group tactics.  The team is mostly split between Des Moines PD and the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

"On a bus, in a car, on a high–rise building, in a house, they train in all that,' says Sgt. Jason Halifax from Des Moines PD.

The after action report from Boston officials will give every department in the U.S. information on what worked, what didn't and what could be learned.

"These types of events are obviously tragic.  Later on we can all learn from something here," says Halifax.

"Everything there is to learn and that will be passed along to the best degree possible so that we can make all our events in Iowa safe," says Lt. Robert Hansen from the Department of Public Safety.

It's not all strategic.  Local officers also think about their colleagues killed and injured in Boston and that affects what they think about their job.

"You say to yourself hmm, what would I have done in that situation?" says Sgt. Halifax.

"Law enforcement's always pulling for each other, so while we might not outwardly reach out because they're busy, we're all pulling for one another and hoping everyone comes through safe," says Lt. Hansen.

As time goes on and specific information comes out about what was done, local departments say that could affect how they plan for big events here in the Metro.

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