VT, NE SWAT police ops suffer three snafus in seven days

Middlebury College library, retail building in Burlington site of mistakes

By Guy Page

With bystanders nearby, a Pennsylvania police officer unintentionally fired a live round during a SWAT training exercise at the former L.L. Bean store on Cherry Street in downtown Burlington Monday, April 10.

The incident was the third major, known snafu to take place since April 4 during Vermont and New England police domestic terrorism training and real-time response.

April 4 – FBI storms wrong hotel room, in training incident, cuffs innocent man. An FBI media statement admitted what reporters had already publicized: an FBI/Dept. of Defense training squad hit the wrong room in a Boston, MA hotel and handcuffed an unknowing, innocent man. “Based on inaccurate information, they were mistakenly sent to the wrong room and detained an individual, not the intended role player,” the FBI admitted. 

April 9 – Communications failure hampers active shooter threat investigation. During the Sunday night, April 9 swatting incident at the Middlebury library, police outside reportedly could not communicate with police inside due to problems with the state’s $12 million V/Comm communications system. Some first responders say the system is too complicated to train workers and that accessing it on cellphones is difficult. When asked about the incident yesterday, Gov. Phil Scott said he’d heard “some of the same things” but added, “I don’t have any details at this point.”

Screenshot from NTOA website showing basic SWAT training all this week in VT.

April 10 – The live round mistakenly fired during the L.L. Bean building exercise occurred when a police officer was trying to unload his firearm in preparation for the beginning of the exercise, the VTDigger news report said. The live round gouged a hole in the ground and scattered onlookers. The multi-departent exercise was conducted by the National Tactical Officers Association, a non-profit training group for SWAT teams and their leaders.

The exercise was conducted by the National Tactical Officers Association. The incident was first reported in VTDigger. The NTOA website shows a weeklong ‘Basic Swat’ training exercise in South Burlington.

The L.L. Bean building, on Burlington’s Church Street Marketplace, has been empty since the Maine-based retailer closed the store, citing among its reasons a high incidence of retail theft.

Categories: Crime

2 replies »

  1. I think that’s called negligent discharge. There’s 4 safety rules of handling firearms. One of those rules was not followed, it’s a damn good thing the other ones where.

  2. How ironic, someone who is supposed to be at the top level of law enforcement, “accidentally” discharged a live round. It’s sad that the only form of gun control that I support (being in control of your firearm at ALL times) is in short supply among our supposedly elite enforcement corps. 🙁

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