VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia Beach Police Department is apologizing for unintentionally causing “undue stress” to city employees after a large scale SWAT exercise was conducted at Municipal Center Building 2 just months after the May 31 mass shooting.
The “non-destructive training” using SWAT and K9 officers happened Wednesday inside vacant areas of the building, where some city employees still work. “Non-destructive” means there was no use of explosives or other noise-generating devices, per police spokesperson Linda Kuehn. “Our tactical teams routinely utilize city buildings, as there is valuable training in such environments,” Kuehn said.
Kuehn says training leaders reached out to facilities management, emergency communications and other city leadership ahead of time, and the department wasn’t aware that the training notice wasn’t relayed to all employees at the Municipal Center.
“After the cycle of training began today, it was brought to our attention that people in other areas of the building had concerns.”
Kuehn says the training was immediately stopped after learning the concerns, and the department will no longer train inside Municipal Center buildings during business hours.
She also said tactical teams routinely utilize city buildings for training. However, this training was the first large-scale exercise comprised of SWAT and K-9 teams during business hours.
“We do apologize that the decision to train there caused undue stress, albeit unintentionally.”