OGDEN -- Local SWAT teams are shooting up, tearing down and ripping apart Weber State University's Promontory Towers during training exercises.
Jack Rickards, the director of WSU's law enforcement academy, said this is the first time the university has allowed SWAT teams to train at the campus.
"Promontory Towers will be torn down in a few days, and I thought it would be a great opportunity for the SWAT teams," Rickards said.
After getting approval from the university's administration, Rickards contacted local law enforcement agencies.
Davis County Sheriff's Sgt. Eric Hilton said opportunities to train inside an 11-story building rarely happen. He was among 30 SWAT officers from Davis, Bountiful, Woods Cross and Salt Lake City to spend Wednesday afternoon and evening inside the 44-year-old building.
The buzz of power saws and banging of rams sounded to many who passed by the brick and steel building like construction noises.
Instead, the noise was SWAT officers learning the best techniques on how to remove a door that may have been fortified by a fugitive.
SWAT officers used the Halligan tool, which consists of a pry bar, claw hammer and pick-axe combination, as well as battering rams and power saws.
"You wouldn't use a power saw for a covert operation," said Salt Lake City Police Sgt. Lance VanDongen.
VanDongen said knowing how to use a power saw to remove a door is a good skill to have in cases such as at Virginia Tech University in 2007 when the shooter chained the doors so police could not enter.
Salt Lake City has many multilevel buildings, such as Trolley Square and the LDS Church Office building, but the chance to actually train in one is rare, VanDongen said.
Davis County does not have any buildings like the old dormitory, but it does have multilevel buildings, including apartment complexes, to which SWAT teams have been called, Hilton said.
But because the Davis County SWAT team usually joins Salt Lake City's SWAT team when it is called out, VanDongen said, the training is important.
Hilton said quite a few of the SWAT members are new and have not had the chance to train in a multilevel building.
"We look for every opportunity to train in a vacate house or building," Hilton said.
SWAT team members also learned how to rescue hostages by gaining entry into a room from the outside of the building.
SWAT teams from Layton and Ogden will be training at Promontory today, Rickards said.