SWAT teams week-long explosive practices upsets residents - KCTV5

SWAT teams week-long explosive practices upsets Midtown neighborhood

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The crackle of gunfire, the booms of explosions and the pop of fireworks were disturbing sounds to residents in a Midtown neighborhood.

And they have endured the noises for a week now with a national group using three vacant homes for tactical operations training.

The times were random throughout the day in an area near the 800 block of West 35th Street in the Coleman Highland neighborhood, which has single and multi-family homes as well as a hospice facility.

"We're not use to explosions and gunfire," said resident Jay Mowbray. "It's discomforting."

The National Tactical Officers Association issued an apology to residents for failing to properly notify them in advance. The officers were in Kansas City for training.

"Without good training sites, they're not going to get good training," said Rob Cartner, the training director for the association.

Cartner said the local tactical association and the Kansas City Police Department helped find the training site. He said the convenient access to vacant homes is one of the reasons that the association chose Kansas City because they are difficult to find.

He said he believed an effort was made to notify residents, but he acknowledged that the efforts weren't sufficient.

"I'm sorry about the imposition on the community," he said. "I hope they see there's some benefit not only in the quality of law enforcement here as well as across the city, and the economic impact."

Kansas City's SWAT teams have practiced numerous times in this neighborhood, but residents said those practices weren't ever as large as those this week or as disruptive. Residents especially don't want to see this become a recurring practice.

"I think it's outrageous that they're doing this right in the middle of a quiet, comfortable, Midtown neighborhood," Mowbray said. "I think it'd be outrageous anywhere in any neighborhood."

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