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Police Training Playgrounds
April 9, 2007 10:34 AM   Subscribe

First Responder Training Sites. For police training purposes, in Southern California ten locations have been set up to look like "anytown, usa", where target practice & hostage situations are acted out. These areas are known in the industry as situation simulation villages, tactical training sites, or Hogan's Alleys (?). Emergency State is an online exhibit of over 200 photographs of these strange prop towns.
posted by jonson (18 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Similar to the Army's MOUT courses. Frighteningly similar.
posted by IronLizard at 10:54 AM on April 9, 2007


Double?
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:05 AM on April 9, 2007


That's it, I'm buying property in Laser Village.
posted by nathancaswell at 11:05 AM on April 9, 2007


jonson is right! We've got to build an exact replica of Rock Ridge.
posted by hal9k at 11:17 AM on April 9, 2007


Or maybe those are the real villages and the places we live are the fake ones!

Think about it, won't you?
posted by DU at 11:18 AM on April 9, 2007


Or maybe those are the real villages and the places we live are the fake ones!

Woah. That's deep, man.
posted by dazed_one at 11:23 AM on April 9, 2007


Excellent post, even if a double.
posted by cowbellemoo at 12:03 PM on April 9, 2007


These aren't just for police departments. Fire departments & ambulance companies will use these facilities as well.

It's a heck of a lot easier (and better) than trying to run training programs in the middle of actual populated suburbs. Hands-on experience is great and the realistic feel helps out quite a bit.
posted by drstein at 12:06 PM on April 9, 2007


Apologizes in advance for taking things in this, admittedly, foil-hat direction.
Whenever I see training grounds like these (as well as all those nifty "future weapons" shows on cable) I can't help but think that this is all intended to train the police for action against the general public in some near-future scenario that the powers-that-be know is coming.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:25 PM on April 9, 2007


Camp Robinson in Little Rock has a lot of good stuff like this.

(Thorzdad - anything like that would be preceded by logistical training and preparation, not tactical. The tactics of urban occupation and civilian control already exist, and have for a looong time. ...of course, we do already have some homeland detention camps...)
posted by Smedleyman at 12:47 PM on April 9, 2007


Eerie. But it makes sense.

Many other government organisations, all over the planet, have dramatisations as part of their training, like the FBI. Strategic Interactions and the Secret Service. "Play it out before you live it out", WILL Interactive.
posted by nickyskye at 12:51 PM on April 9, 2007


I can't help but think that this is all intended to train the police for action against the general public in some near-future scenario that the powers-that-be know is coming.

Think about your experience with the DMV. Now imagine that same group of people attempting a hostile, totalitarian takeover that is kept totally secret until the moment of implementation. "Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job." Have some faith in incompetence.
posted by frogan at 2:17 PM on April 9, 2007


Frogan's right. Incompetent people never rise to power.

Never.
posted by poweredbybeard at 4:48 PM on April 9, 2007


“...imagine that same group of people attempting a hostile, totalitarian takeover that is kept totally secret”

Can I just say it’s really not like that at all? This is TACTICAL simulation. I mean you’re not going to dynamically enter every freakin house on every block on every street in every town and city in the U.S. to secure the country for totalitarian rule. It’s just not feasible in the first place.
In the second, there’s plenty of more efficient ways - hell, you’ve practically have a stranglehold on the country with petroleum now. And that CAN be done in secret. Control those points - (and *cough* the number of refineries have been scaled back) - and you control the country. Don’t like what the party is doing? Guess what, you can’t buy gas. Which means you can’t go to work. Which means you’re out of a job. Which means you lose your house. Etc. etc. etc. No reason to bust in someone’s door.

Which, actually, is what you want them doing.
Because the big problem comes when the guy you’ve just done that to has a rifle with some range or some buddies who know how to make foo gas or get semtex and decides to clip a few higher ups. And those higher ups get mad (the smaller point being more sensitive than the mass) and send guys to kick in doors, which pisses off more people, which makes them pick up arms, which sends more people to kick in doors, which angers more people...
I understand similar situations sometimes occur overseas.

Or you could just beguile the population into thinking they’re not oppressed.
...notice the lack of advertisement on the training courses?
posted by Smedleyman at 5:47 PM on April 9, 2007


Please pick up your tin foil hat on the way out the door, 'kay?
posted by frogan at 6:00 PM on April 9, 2007


I’ll do that soon as you pick up that reading comp course, ‘mkay?
posted by Smedleyman at 8:42 AM on April 10, 2007


I trained in a FIBUA village (British Army, Fighting In Built Up Areas) that looked a lot like these places. The one we were in had enormous speakers built into the houses, which they played simulated battle noise out of. The machine gun and bombing sounds sounded incredibly real. The whole village was really eerie, especially at night.
posted by Happy Dave at 10:45 AM on April 10, 2007


This is great. Thanks.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 5:58 PM on April 10, 2007


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