Members of Muskogee Police Special Operations Team worked their way through One Source Managed Services offices on Wednesday.

The sweep through vacant offices was part of training the unit does every two weeks, said Muskogee Police Sgt. Drew Branan, who oversaw the training. He said about 18 to 20 people trained. 

"Today we're focused on building clearance and and room entries," Branan said, adding that participants train in "any kind of tactics we can use in a real world operation."

Street signs noting "Police Training" were put up in the area on Wednesday.

Deputy Police Chief Chad Farmer said the team trains in different available facilities throughout Muskogee "so we can change the layout and we're not used to doing the same thing."

"We've panicked people over the years when we just show up, so we put a sign up to let people know we're just training," he said. "So people won't think something dangerous is going on."

Farmer said the team learns how to safely clear a building, respond to active shooters, respond to hostage situations.

"There's all kinds of tactics involved as far as policies and case law and what we can and can't do," he said. "It's a perishable skill that you've got to work on all the time."

Officers also must keep abreast of changes in case law and keep training to remain certified.

Some Muskogee firefighters and Muskogee County Emergency Medical Service medics also are trained, as is a physician, Farmer said.

He said the Special Operations Team gets called "when there is a high-risk situation, such as an armed and barricaded person, hostage rescue, a high-risk warrant service."

"We respond to active shooter situations, we respond to a sniper," he said. "If we have someone shooting in the middle of nowhere, we respond to that. We can be called for V.I.P. security, so if we have a government official come to town, we can assist with that security. Anything above and beyond regular patrol duties or investigative work that might put an officer at more risk than they were around." 

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