SNOQUALMIE, Wash. — More than a dozen law enforcement agencies came to Snoqualmie to take part in intensive training by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Law enforcement agents came for training from all over the Pacific Northwest.
Some of the neighbors were also in on the training in an effort to make the fake crime seem as real as possible.
The daylong session took part in the Snoqualmie Ridge neighborhood of eastern King County.
The scenario for the mock investigation set up by the FBI: a young girl goes missing and the clues left behind suggests she may have been kidnapped.
“It’s important for the FBI that we don’t just have these specialized skills, we want all of our partners to do so, too,” said FBI spokesperson Ayn Dietrich-Williams.
“Things like what they’re practicing can happen anywhere,” said neighbor Tom Wood.
Wood was one of several of neighbors who have volunteered for the session; they played actors as potential witnesses to the crime and challenged investigators with their new training.
“When everything goes right, you don’t learn very much,” said Wood. “You only really learn something is when things go wrong.”
The investigators had been in classes all week and Thursday’s simulation was supposed to test what they had learned.
“This is a deeper way of looking into an abduction,” said Snoqualmie Police Capt. Nick Almquist. “And to be able to really vet through and go through any kind of search patters, investigative canvassing, and all that stuff we already do just to a greater degree."
“They have been learning specialized skills and techniques that will help them augment any police department’s resources,” added Dietrich-Williams.
Similar mock sessions have already occurred in other states. The FBI said it believes the real-world training can only help other law enforcement agencies prepare if the worst-case scenario comes to their streets.
“Do you want these guys to make a mistake when they’re practicing or do you want them to make a mistake when it’s for real and it’s your daughter?” said Wood.
The agencies involved in Thursdays exercise were identified by the FBI:
_ FBI Seattle Field Office
_ Snoqualmie Police Department
_ Arlington Police Department
_ Bellevue Police Department
_ Clark County Sheriff's Office
_ King County Sheriff's Office
_ Kitsap County Sheriff's Office
_ Lacey Police Department
_ Normandy Park Police Department
_ Pacific Police Department
_ Portland Police Bureau
_ Redmond Police Department
_ Renton Police Department
_ Seattle Police Department
_ Skagit County Sheriff's Office
_ Tukwila Police Department