Bodine's finds life as training ground

Bodine's Restaurant in Carson City was transformed into training grounds for local Special Weapons and Tactics teams and other law enforcement agencies to practice their skills last week.

The restaurant and trailer park that closed in January to make way for a casino hosted about 60 members of local law enforcement for the training day, March 23.

"High-risk situations occur outside the county where we might be asked for assistance," said Sheriff Ron Pierini. "Training like this shows us how collectively to tackle certain situations. It's valuable to get to know the other agencies, who plays what role."

Teams practiced three scenarios to hone their skills for a drug bust, hostage scenario and slow methodical walk-through.

One of the single-wide trailers on the property was the scene of a mock drug bust as the Douglas County Sheriff's Office SWAT team broke through the door, set off a flash-bang in the bedroom window and apprehended the suspect in record time.

In this case the suspect was a reserve officer donating his time to play a "bad guy" for training purposes.

While the Douglas team located their suspect quickly, the team working the restaurant took more time.

The restaurant was dark and quiet, and at first glance, appeared empty until a member of the South Lake Tahoe Police Department SWAT team looked out around a corner to evaluate the area.

As the team moved forward the lead man spotted the suspect and ordered him to drop his weapon. With nowhere to go, the suspect complied. Once he was handcuffed the team moved forward through the restaurant checking every corner until the second suspect was located, hiding in the back.

Although all was quiet during the slow methodical walk-through of the restaurant, running feet and gunfire could be heard overhead as the Carson City team worked through a hostage rescue in the upstairs apartment.

For the training paintball-like bullets were used and before each exercise all weapons were double-checked for live ammunition.

For the hostage rescue, the eight-man team quietly made its way up the stairs and around the television set that blocked the path to the front door where they set off a flash-bang through the front window to disorient the suspect.

Once inside the team fanned out to locate the hostage and suspect and clear the apartment.

After the threat was removed, team members discussed how the scenario went and exited the apartment so the scene could be reset for another try. The hostage and suspect moved from the kitchen to a new location in the apartment to keep the team on its toes.

At the far end of the property the Tahoe-Douglas Bomb Squad was holding their own training and practice with their bomb robot and new 100-pound suit.

Each member of the team took a turn in the suit and tried to locate an artificial pipe bomb inside one of the trailers and set up a detonation device.

While they worked team members offered advice about safety, set up and location.

Once down on his knees working on the device the squad member in the safety suit was on his own to get off the floor and out of the trailer.

In addition to the bomb squad and the three local SWAT teams the Fallon task force, Tri-Net and SLED-Net also participated in the training.

Pierini said an advantage to the location was that the site is headed for demolition.

"We didn't have to worry about the facilities. There was no problem with breaking windows and there were a lot of upstairs, downstairs," Pierini said.

n Shannon Litz can be reached at or at (775) 782-5121, ext. 209.


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