SWAT training causes panic in Albuquerque neighborhood

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LOS RANCHOS DE ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Los Ranchos de Albuquerque is a quiet little village, not often popping up on crime maps of the city. But, when residents in the neighborhood saw SWAT teams at two homes along Osuna, they panicked.

“Their flash bang equipment, I guess that’s what it was, was very loud,” said Pablo Rael who lives right across the street from the homes.

It all happened last week in the evening, residents heard the commotion.

“I heard at least two pop or explosion type things,” said resident Lauren Marble.

Bernalillo County deputies and State Police were raiding the two abandoned homes, now left in shambles.

“Was kind of overdone, I don’t know why they would need to do this,” said Rael.

Despite the SWAT teams and the tactical gear, they weren’t after a dangerous suspect, it was all a training exercise.

“Often times we will use abandoned properties because we don’t have to pay the expense. We don’t have the money to build training facilities,” said Robin Hopkins.

Hopkins is a former sheriff’s deputy and the current public safety liaison for the Village of Los Ranchos. She said these types of trainings are crucial to public safety.

“Not only to be in an area that we’ve never been in but to be able to create a realistic scenario, it truly is life-saving,” said Hopkins.

Residents said they’re relieved that’s all it was, but said they were never notified.

“It would have been nice to know that there was something going on of that nature, though,” said Marble.

Hopkins said, in the future, they will put out signs to let people know, especially in residential areas.

“It is going to be unnerving or scary or exciting or whatever, but that’s the reality of what we do,” said Hopkins.

And as a former deputy shot in the line of duty, she knows firsthand, just how important this training is.

Hopkins said, “training saved my life.”

The Village owns the abandoned homes. They’re scheduled to be demolished this week and replaced with a green space.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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