If you see a large police presence at the Palace Theater in Crossville over the next three days, do not panic, it is just a drill.
The Crossville Police will be conducting active shooter drills and search warrant training through Thursday. Public Information Officer Captain Brian Eckelson said the training is part of ensuring the Crossville Police are prepared for anything. He said the training is routine but is usually not held in public view.
“Our big concern is, it’s right on Main Street, and a lot of traffic drives by,” Eckelson said. “If they see police stacking up outside a door or gonna make entry, they may be wondering what’s going on. So, we just want to make sure everybody stays safe and doesn’t rear end the person in front of them trying to figure out what the police are doing.”
Eckelson said the training allows the police to prepare for unique scenarios that do not happen often in the field. He said conducting the training in public view lets Crossville know their police are being proactive and training for all possible scenarios.
“It’s kind of two-fold,” Eckelson said. “The first is, a better trained police force is going to be a better provider of safety for the public period. The more we train, the more we know what we’re doing and how we’re doing and what we’re doing the way we’re supposed to be doing it. The benefit to the community on the second side is seeing that it’s happening, know that your people are being trained. It lets the public know hey our guys are being proactive. You know, they’re not just sitting back waiting for something to happen.”
Eckelson said they are trying to get the word out about the training in the interest of public safety and to calm concerns.
“The reason that we’re putting out information to the public is to let folks know, so they’re not concerned,” Eckelson said. “They’re not worried that hey I got a grandson that works at the palace, I hope nothings going on. It’s the interest of safety to keep everybody as safe as we can while they’re training and to keep the public as safe as we can, while they’re out training.”
Eckelson said the force trains in many buildings in the city to familiarize themselves with the layout in case of an emergency.
Eckelson said they do this training as often as possible, though it is normally conducted after hours away form the public view. He said the SWAT team will do training like this at least twice a month. He said there is a good reason why this training is conducted away from the public.
“You don’t want to scare people,” Eckelson said. “Honestly, if you got bad guys around you don’t want them to sit and watch what you are doing to see what your tactics are and how you’re going to train.”