CREATED Apr. 19, 2013
CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Friday morning, several local law enforcement agencies got together for a massive training drill, not knowing some of the participants would have to leave for real bomb threats.
Two separate bomb threats were called into government buildings in both Cape Coral and Ft. Myers, forcing evacuations. After sweeps of both buildings turned up nothing, people were allowed to return.
But with the situation in Boston, police say all threats have to be taken seriously.
Four In Your Corner's Colleen Hogan was at the in-depth drill that's helping making sure they're ready.
The multi-agency, all-day training is meant to help different agencies work together quickly in case of an emergency. No one could have guessed how soon they'd be putting those skills to good use.
Wearing green jumpsuits and black helmets and vests, four SWAT members prepare to enter a building. In this training scenario, the Cape Coral SWAT team is serving a search warrant to someone in a home or small business and they find either a surprise bomb or a HAZMAT situation waiting for them.
In reality, they're preparing to enter the old Kmart store in the Coralwood shopping center.
"In an event like this, it's not gonna just be any one organization," said Cape Coral Fire Dept. battalion chief John Spicuzza. "It's gonna involve hazardous materials, gonna involve the bomb squad, gonna involve SWAT, police."
A police dog barks as it prepares to go in first; its' handler loosens some slack on the leash then the SWAT team heads inside.
"You're only as good as your local first responders are and that's why we train together, know what our roles are," said Cape Coral Police Dept. Lt. Tony Sizemore.
The Cape Coral Fire Department is hosting the training, which has been in the works for a year.
The Cape Coral SWAT team, Ft. Myers Fire Department, Lee Co. Sheriffs Office Regional Bomb Squad, the FBI and the Florida National Guard all taking part.
Colleen Hogan, reporter