MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Five months after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Miami Beach police officers trained for the possibility of a similar emergency at one of the city’s own nightclubs.
Miami Beach recreated a scenario, Thursday, in which an active shooter has taken hostages inside a nightclub. The exercise was meant to prepare the department’s tactical units for the uncertainty of entering a nightclub with an active shooter.
The dark and loud environment of a nightclub makes it especially difficult for police officers to enter, Miami Beach Police Captain Daniel Morgalo said.
“It’s extremely challenging, number one, because the entry people don’t know the layout,” Morgalo said, “There’s the confusion of the music, and you amp that up by adding screaming people, injured people, blood, sometimes fire alarms going off, all kinds of confusing noise.”
Morgalo said the department tried to make the scenario as realistic as possible, so officers could adapt to the difficult circumstances.
“Extremely important because this is as realistic as we can make them without doing the real thing,” Morgalo said. “So it’s great when the community helps us out by allowing us to use locations like this.”
Omar Mateen killed 49 people and injured 53 when he entered the Pulse nightclub on June 12 and began shooting, then took hostages.
Police recently released the 911 calls made by patrons inside the Pulse nightclub as Mateen carried out the worst mass shooting in modern American history.
“Please come to Pulse, P-U-L-S-E,” one caller is heard saying.
The captain said, of course, they hope they never have to respond to a situation like the Pulse shooting. But if they must, they know how they want to respond.
“The goal is to save lives, get in there as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Morgalo said.
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