OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — We don't often see police snipers at events like the CWS, parades or concerts but Omaha Police assured us — they are there.
And they said being able to train in the actual venues is invaluable.
"This is just another tool for them to build that confidence if, God forbid, they do have to take a shot in a critical incident; that they have the confidence to do so," said Omaha Police Department Lt. Neal Bonacci.
This is the first time officers have had the opportunity to shoot in Charles Schwab Field. But what they learn here could apply elsewhere, like a school.
"This is probably the farthest shot that they are going to have to take, so being able to scale that down to even smaller venues, is pretty easy to do once you do it on a larger scale," Bonacci said.
The trainees are shooting at a target with several numbers on it and they are each assigned a number. One of the trainers said they are doing very well.
"We have certain standards and benchmarks that we need these police snipers to meet," said Mark Lang, director of Sniper Training with Tacflow Academy.
And if they do reach those standards, they will be able to continue to shoot in the course. If not, they are allowed to stay for instruction, but they won't be allowed to fire their weapon.
"We have to have 100% confidence because again, we are coming into these venues and we take it very, very seriously," Lang said.
They shoot from different parts of the stadium, including the field, but practicing the shot is just one part of it. They also have classroom discussions.
"Talking about public venue operations, talking about how we can work with venue security and identifying the different attack methods that could occur here at Charles Schwab Field," Lang said.
Omaha police do a variety of training scenarios throughout the year, and it's all so they can be ready for any crisis.
Training should be wrapped up for today. It'll resume tomorrow afternoon and into the evening. Officers say they'll shoot until 10 p.m. to practice under the stadium lights.