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Murrysville police train to face all situations

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By Daveen Rae Kurutz
Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Violent crime isn't common in Murrysville, but police officials still want to be prepared for any scenario.

Last week, Sgt. Tom Kusinsky, the department's firearms instructor, took part in a regional advanced active-shooter training program.

He plans to use what he learned to help train the department's other officers in case of an emergency situation, Chief Tom Seefeld said.

While Kusinsky focuses on preparing the other officers, the department also recently offered active-shooter and self-defense training for municipal employees.

“This is the world we live in now,” Seefeld said.

“We need to be proactive with how we prepare our staff.”

Seefeld said officials began examining safety procedures at the municipal building after the mass shooting at a school in Newtown, Conn., in December. A plan to increase security at the municipal building is part of the 2014 capital- improvement budget that council will begin reviewing next week.

Unlike many other communities in the Pittsburgh area, Murrysville doesn't have a police officer on hand at council meetings.

The police station is located in the municipal building, and chief administrator Jim Morrison and other officials can reach an officer quickly, if needed, Seefeld said.

That won't change any time soon, Morrison said after an incident in Monroe County last week, when three people were shot to death at a township commissioners meeting. The suspect is a disgruntled resident.

“Something like that isn't going to happen in Murrysville,” Morrison said. “We're focused on securing the municipal building.”

Seefeld said any changes to security at the municipal building won't happen until early next year.

He doesn't want residents to be afraid; he just wants his department to be prepared.

That's why officers go through regular training and the department regularly reviews equipment and tactics, he said.

“We try and run through better ways of doing things,” Seefeld said. “Our guys get a lot out of these sorts of things. It better prepares us not just for a critical incident but everyday incidents as well.”

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or dkurutz@tribweb.com.

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