ISP team conducts exercise in Greencastle
It wasn't a normal morning of business at Hayes Murphy Sharp & Brackney Insurance recently.
Instead, the Greencastle business was the site of an Indiana State Police Emergency Response Team (ERT) exercise.
The ERT is a full-time assignment for an elite group of ISP troopers devoted to high-risk incidents such as hostage situations, barricaded subjects, prison disturbances and rescue missions.
The mock incident was a hostage situation in the agency in which an armed man had taken five hostages and shot another man in the parking lot.
Over a period of several hours, members of the team, along with ISP negotiators and other specialists, worked to free the hostages and bring about a peaceful resolution.
Ultimately, all hostages were freed, and the suspect took his own life. Investigators then made entry into the building to inspect it further.
Acting out a volatile scenario, every move the team made during the exercise was deliberate. Acts as seemingly simple as dropping a phone or food for the hostages inside the front door turn into complex operations as authorities try to assure everyone's safety.
Following the drill, the team presented a plaque and photograph to the HMSB staff in gratitude for the use of the building and for sponsoring the team at a recent competition.
To be part of the ERT, members must demonstrate proficiency in weapons and specialized equipment, unarmed defense techniques, building entry and clearance, rappelling and field search.