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Yankton Officials Prep. For Hostage Situation

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Hostage situations can be a police officer’s worst nightmare. An unstable fugitive mixed with a handful of innocent bystanders, and things can get out of hand quickly.


But, the Federal Prison Camp in Yankton and some law enforcement agencies are trying to prepare for the worst. Three hostages, a suspect with a gun, and door booby trapped with explosives; more than just a headache for negotiators. But, Thursday's events in Yankton are just a drill.


Minus the orange gun, this practice run had a real feel to it. The Federal Prison Camp in Yankton teamed up with law enforcement to take down the alleged bad guy.  And practicing dangerous situations like this keeps everyone safer during the real deal.  


“We can point out the good things and the bad things that may come out of a situation like this. With it being a mock drill we can learn from this, rather than someone being injured seriously in a situation,” said Todd Cowman the Public Information Officer at the prison.  


While this is a more intense drill, the prison camp will perform a number of similar drills throughout the year.


“We have exercises at least quarterly. And we routinely will check our plans to make sure that they are in line with our federal guidelines,” said Cowman.


SWAT teams and prison officials practiced a hostage situation twice, Thursday. 


“What we're doing is we took a look at a situation this morning. We made some revisions to it this afternoon and are going to attempt a similar situation and try to throw in a few more curveballs,” said Cowman.


Curveballs that required the Yankton Police to turn to their remote control robot, in order to trade a bottle of water for a hostage.



While the hostages and suspects are actors, law enforcement takes this drill seriously. Knowing that when a real life situation rolls around, they'll be ready.


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