Cops will swarm city Monday

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'This is what we cal a live shooting exercise ... it will look like chaos'

By Alice Du Pont

Monday, July 25, will be a day of infamy in Quincy -- in practice only. From approximately 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. parts of the city will look as if a terrible shooting crime has been committed and the suspects have not been caught.
    Law enforcement officers will be scrambling all over the city from the hospital to downtown and people will appear to be in distress, don't be alarmed. It's only an exercise, brought to you by the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office.
    "This is what we call a live shooting exercise that will take place in the unused corridors of the Capital Medical Center Gadsden Campus and at the offices of the Tax Collector and Property Appraiser. About 40 to 50 people will be involved," said Major Shawn Wood of the GCSO.
    In addition to the GCSO, officers from the Quincy Police Department and officers from other municipalities throughout the county will participate in the exercise.
    "This is one of those things that you practice. This kind of exercise teaches law enforcement what each agency is supposed to do in a scenario like this or similar. It will look like chaos but it won't be. The citizens may think that something terrible has happened but we're getting training just in case," Wood said.
    The first part of the training will take place at the hospital where, Wood said, the empty corridors will be used to demonstrate how to flush out suspects where there are multiple rooms. The actual live shooter training will be held at county offices on South Calhoun Street where a simulated shooting will take place,
    "The public may see and hear helicopters, see ambulances going to and from the sites, see people who appear to be bloody and officers with guns drawn. But it's all a part of the exercise,"  Wood said.
     Wood said several years ago a similar training exercise, with a judge held hostage at the courthouse, was executed along with the Leon County Sheriff's Office with good results.