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Mission Bay Island Turned Into National Security Training Ground

Evening Edition

— Government agencies, emergency responders and major corporations from around the nation and world are in San Diego to get a peek at the latest in security practices. Mission Bay's Paradise Point vacation resort was transformed by the California-based HALO Corporation, a private security firm, into a training ground. The idea is to help stakeholders preserve access to critical resources in emergency situations.

Aired 10/30/12 on KPBS News.

Mission Bay's Paradise Point is a laboratory for national security training this week.

Security training at Paradise Point in San Diego
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Above: Security training at Paradise Point in San Diego

"It is thinking globally and acting locally and using technology as a force multiplier to mitigate risk and keep everybody safe," said Brad Barker, HALO Corporation's president.

The conference will expose participants to some of the tools and training methods that are out there. Barker's analogy involves teaching children how to swim.

"Would you like them to watch the swimming video or read the swimming book, or do you want them to get in the pool and actually learn how to swim? So what we're doing here is a completely immersive, experiential type of scenario," said Barker.

The set pieces are designed to create a realistic atmosphere so the people who are training in the environments actually feel what's going on. That includes using real guns that shoot fake ammunition.

"Whatever they shoot in their actual operations, we want to be able for them to shoot it here," said Steve Didier of Phoenix RBT Solutions, LLC.

It also involves setting up repeatable training scenarios that simulate situations security forces might encounter. Tony Lambraia leads a team through a building. They clear each room before moving on.

"Everybody can be a great shooter on the range, when you're breathing and pulling the trigger real slow. But are you a good shooter when it comes down to it and someone is shooting back at you?" said Lambraia.

Participants also get a look at the latest security gear at hands-on exhibits. They include surveillance gear, body armor and tactical robots. The event runs through Friday and is not open to the public.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | October 30, 2012 at 8:44 a.m. ― 4 years, 4 months ago

Safe from what, Barker? What "Boogeyman"?

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | October 30, 2012 at 10:28 a.m. ― 4 years, 4 months ago

Presumably MA, you wouldn't object to more training for University of California, Davis Police Lt. John Pike.

Lots of careers require being prepared to use force against other humans. Realistic training helps reduce (because we will never eliminate) errors in the field.

If you are advocating not allowing security personnel to be armed, then we can have a different discussion, but the short answer to your “safe from what” question would be; whatever those personnel intended to be trained at this facility were hired to protect against.

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