Police apologize for SWAT training exercise

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 | 2:00 p.m. CDT; updated 9:28 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — The Columbia Police Department apologized Tuesday for a July 16 training exercise at Planned Parenthood that alarmed area neighbors.

The department’s Special Weapons and Tactics and Crisis Negotiation Team held a joint training exercise involving a hostage situation at the Planned Parenthood at 711 N. Providence Road.

Interim Chief of Police Tom Dresner issued a public apology for not informing the public about the training ahead of time.

An electronic news release was scheduled to be sent out before the hostage training exercise, but no release was sent. Al and Debra Harris, who own A Cut Above The Rest Hair Salon at 705 N. Providence Road, were alarmed by the heavy police presence near their business.

In a news release issued Tuesday, police said that having no notification about the training alarmed the Harrises and their customers and affected the salon’s business.

“We let this important notification slip by, and for that we are very sorry and will further commit to not let the citizens of our community to be inconvenienced in this way again,” Dresner said in the release.


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