TPD Special Ops Tears a Building Apart for Good

04/10/2015 – Tulsa Police Special Operations Team Destroys Office Building from Inside as Part of Training.

Tulsa police Cpl. Jason Muse held a heavy tool in a south Tulsa office building littered with broken glass and debris, demonstrating how to effectively break a window for gaining access during an emergency.

“You swing it just like a baseball bat,” Muse told a group of Special Operations Team members while taking a careful practice swing.

An officer then grabbed the tool and promptly shattered the window.

“That’s how you do it,” Muse said.

The exercise was part of a weeklong training regimen inside an abandoned office building in the 2800 block of East Skelly Drive donated by Tulsa real estate developer John Rupe Jr., a friend of Tulsa police Capt. Mike Eckert.

The 38,000-square-foot building is scheduled to be demolished at the end of the month to make room for lots that will be converted into office space. Eckert considered the structure an ideal training ground for the brigade of officers, who are more or less destroying the building from the inside.

One by one, teams of officers used tactical tools to break down doors and bust through windows. Midway through the session, no room was spared damage.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for the Tulsa Police Department and the Special Operations Team,” Eckert said. “We’re extremely grateful to John. His generosity will be a benefit to us, but more importantly a benefit to the citizens of Tulsa and those that we both serve.”

Having access to the building allowed the Special Operations Team to practice everything from hostage rescue techniques to explosives training.

“We have the opportunity to see what works or what doesn’t work during training,” Eckert said. “It’s all about being able to get those repetitions in.”

On Tuesday, a training session was interrupted as the unit responded to a standoff near 58th Street and Peoria Avenue in which an armed man was holed up in an appliance store for about five hours before surrendering.

“It just so happened that it worked out that way,” Eckert said. “We’re on standby 24 hours day.”

Overall, police said the hands-on training experience at the roomy site is far more beneficial than anything that can be learned in a classroom environment.

“Guys will start to see what sounded good in their head did or didn’t work in the real world,” Muse said. “Being able to work on some of those things is invaluable.”

Original article from the Tulsa World.