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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Officers raid Cummins Building in training exercise

  • Officers of the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System raided the Cummins Building Wednesday in search of training to build better skills, sharper instincts and safer performance.
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  • Brian DeNeal photo
    Officers of the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System Special Response Team prepare to enter the Cummins Building to perform a training scenario. Team Commander Scott Burge, left, explains their task to them.
    Officers raid Cummins Building in training exercise
    By Brian DeNeal
    editor@dailyregister.com
    Harrisburg
    Officers of the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System raided the Cummins Building Wednesday in search of training to build better skills, sharper instincts and safer performance.
    The team — the ILEAS Special Response Team for Southern Illinois — holds trainings twice monthly. In the past the team has trained in Saline County including Harrisburg High School and Southeastern Illinois College. The Cummins Building with its many rooms and multiple floors is similar to a large apartment complex.
    “We’ll be running the gamut from search warrants to hostage rescue,” Blaine Uhls of Centralia Police, one of the team leaders, said.
    He said there would be 20 to 30 scenarios.
    The officers wore protective face and head gear and were armed with paintball guns designed like assault rifles. They expected the paintballs to fly during certain scenarios.
    Several local law enforcement officers are involved. Sheriff Keith Brown sits on the ILEAS Governing Board for ILEAS Region 11 along with Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Police Chief Todd Sigler. Harrisburg Police Officers Whipper Johnson and Kenny Shires, Saline County Sheriff’s Deputy Jerod Campbell and Carrier Mills Police Officer Mike Stover are ILEAS officers.
    ILEAS has two arms, the Special Response Team and the Mobile Field Force, according to Team Commander and Jefferson County Chief Deputy Scott Burge. The ILEAS Mobile Field Force aided Harrisburg with patrols during the Feb. 29 tornado. The SRT suits up in tactical gear to enter situations when someone is suspected to be armed such as a hostage situation.
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