Chippewa Response team practices tactical drug search exercise

By: Jenny You Email
By: Jenny You Email

TOWN OF SAMPSON, Wis. (WEAU) – Last month, Waupun police officer Bradley Young was arrested in a manhunt that ended at a cabin in Burnett County. Now an area response team is trying to better prepare for similar situations.

The Chippewa Response Team (CRT), made up of the Chippewa Falls Sheriff’s Dept. and Chippewa Falls Police Dept., put their skills to the test at an empty cabin on county land in the Town of Sampson near New Auburn.

The scenario: “We had a cabin where we had information that there were a couple suspects that was cooking meth, and the West Central Drug Task Force asked us to do a tactical entry to the building so we did that for them,” said Lt. Chad Holum who took on the role of team commander. “We simulated that an officer was shot in the thigh.”

It all started around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday. Around 25 responders were on scene in the middle of the woods near Co. Hwy M. The injured officer had to be brought out by an ATV to where Mayo One landed at a landing zone in the outskirts. One suspect was arrested by the CRT in the training scenario.

In order to arrest the second suspect, tear gas was shot into the cabin after a tactical team surrounded the area and hit quietly in the woods. Snipers were on standby, reporting back intelligence to the team leader.

“We had a mission where we had to stalk into hiding spot which is about 450 yards off the road. We had to find the location and get in position where we could see what the suspect was doing,” said Chippewa Co. investigator William Gray. His role was “sniper.”

Gray said the scenario is realistic and helps with team-building.

“It's team camaraderie and stalking in your position, how to be quiet and how to pick the right areas when you're walking through the woods and stepping on sticks, making a lot of noise in the woods,” said Gray.

Holum said in light of the recent situation involving Young and a manhunt through west central Wisconsin, the training was very important for the team.

“We try to keep our training very realistic by using buildings, using Mayo One to incorporate if an officer was injured. How would we extract them and get them to a landing zone so a helicopter can take them to a medical facility,” said Holum.

The cabin is set to be torn down soon by the county and the land would be used for hunting. We’re told other agencies may use the cabin before it’s destroyed to practice training as well.

The Chippewa Response team said it doesn’t training once a month.

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