Chilmark hosts drill for hostage scenario

Tactical team uses armored vehicle to protect officer from mock assailant.


Chilmark Police held a joint training exercise Thursday afternoon to hone skills in the event of a hostage situation. 

Chilmark Police Chief Jonathan Klaren quarterbacked the overall exercise, and worked hand in glove with Tri-Town Ambulance Chief Ben Retmier and Chilmark Fire Chief Jeremy Bradshaw. Chilmark Police Sgt. Sean Slavin ran incident command for the Chilmark Police. The exercise took place at the future site of the Tri-Town Ambulance headquarters, a vacant Middle Road property situated behind town hall. It began with a radio call to Chilmark Police, expanded to involve Tri-Town Ambulance and the Chilmark Fire Department. and developed into an armed standoff between the team and an individual with a hostage. The Martha’s Vineyard Law Enforcement Council and Tactical Response Team (TRT) were then summoned as part of the drill.

In one part of the drill, with Chilmark Police officers in armed positions at various points around the house, a TRT squad rumbled beside the house in a newly acquired armored vehicle and deployed a telephone on spooled wire to link negotiators with the assailant. Those negotiators set up shop behind the Chilmark Community Church, and maintained open dialogue with the assailant, ultimately bringing the crisis to a peaceful end for the assailant, the hostage, and first responders alike. 

“I was pleased with the initial response of the Chilmark Police Department … and then our department’s integration into assisting the TRT,” Chief Klaren said in an email to The Times. “For the scenario, the TRT utilized their negotiator cadre as well as the newly acquired Oshkosh M-ATV. The M-ATV demonstrated its ability to protect officers and assist setting up an effective communication link with the negotiating team. After the scenario concluded, the TRT ran multiple evolutions of specific tactics, including breaching, entries/searches, gas (inert) deployment, and rescues of injured parties.”

Police chiefs Rhandi Belain, Matt Mincone, Bruce McNamee, and Mark Saloio observed the drill at various points over its six-hour duration. 

Chief Klaren thanked the board of selectmen, whom he credited with enabling his department to hold the drill. He also thanked the Chilmark Community Church for the use of their facilities and the Dukes County Sheriff’s Office “for supplying role players, as well as communications and dispatch support.” 


  1. When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Heavily armed agents of the state coming to a house near you soon.

  2. This is how huge law enforcement budgets are justified on Martha’s Vineyard millions of dollars spent to protect us from every threat perceived, imagined and in this case manufactured. This is big government in action on a small scale, what is the carbon foot print of that military vehicle? How about protecting us from the thinking that seeks to scare and control an otherwise peaceful and law bidding community. The Vineyard has enough hammers how about community outreach solve some crimes be proactive the things that used to be called police work.

  3. I thought my little community of Maine was law bidding until a local sheriff was shot and killed recently. I always thought the cape was pretty law bidding and a nice seaside vacation community until Officer Gannon of the Yarmouth police was shot and killed recently and the shooter had to barricaded himself in the house. These big scary, carbon emitting military surplus vehicles you speak of are a needed tool in certain situations. God forbid that the day ever does come on your precious little sand bar when this vehicle and these officers are needed. I sure hope your not worrying about the freaking carbon footprint! What’s the carbon footprint of Obama’s jet that’ll be landing frequently?

    • moved—
      I find it interesting that you pick on Obama for his perceived hypocrisy. Not sure about what though– did he ever say he would not board a private jet ? How about whining about the perceived hypocrisy of your sitting president , who said he would never golf as president , but has played golf on at least 244 days while racking up over $110 million in taxpayer cost. Not to mention the carbon footprint you seem to suddenly be concerned about.

  4. Yes stricter gun laws in the way of more extensive back ground checking, in the way of mental health and violent crime issues. As a legal gun owner I’m not against a longer waiting period or wanting to look further into my background. What I do have an issue with is being told what firearm I’m allowed to own because of some mentally ill, depressed, unstable, past criminal, feeling socially unaccepted individual decides to commit a violent crime with a gun. It wasn’t the gun people. Alcohol kills more every year but look at at the package stores and the way alcohol is advertised. When is the last time you saw a handgun ad on tv? I like handguns just as much as someone would like a nice glass if wine or a fine whiskey.

  5. More gun control isn’t the answer. Do I think you should be able to own an AK47? NO. I am liberal to a point. Look at Chicago, they have the strongest gun control laws in the country (except, maybe NY) and look at their gun violence. Criminals will always find ways to get a gun and if you take the guns away from law abiding citizens, then what will protect ourselves with, harsh language? What about hunting? Are we going back to only olden times where you used bow and arrows? Get a grip people.
    Thankfully, we live on a pretty peaceful island and we are lucky enough to not have to worry about a lot of the typical crimes that happen off island, yet….

    • whats wrong with bow and arrow? I could probably use one but nah you’re right us fat americans ain’t got time for no physical effort that takes skill. Well guess it’s back to seasonal depression drinking and giving my kids alcohol while being a terrible parent.

    • Proud– Every time there is a mass shooting, especially a school shooting in a blue state, that state , according to some 2A alarmist, always seems to have the strongest gun control laws in the country.

      And how do states with strict laws compare to states with lax laws ?
      Guess what ?
      And how do countries with strict laws compare to countries with lax laws ?
      Guess what ?
      Sometimes I get a little discouraged with the willful ignorance of some of the commentators here.
      The information is just a few keyboard strokes away, and it is pretty clear.
      I certainly don’t want to take away the guns of law abiding citizens —- except assault weapons, rocket launchers, cannons, war planes, tanks and nuclear weapons of any kind . I agree with the republicans that this is at least partially a mental health issue.
      So why do republicans refuse to pass any legislation that would keep guns out of the hands of certifiably crazy people ?

    • Chicago is not even in the top ten in gun death cities per capita. Stop with the old NRA talking points. You should also review the homicide rate for Chicago over the last 5 years —cut almost in half…Facts Matter to most people.

  6. Don
    That piddly little fact of golf is what you come up with?? I have no issues with carbon footprints. My diesel truck idles for 30 mins a day just so it’s warm when I get in. As far as our amazing President playing golf have at it. The paycheck he gives up can go towards paying for his golf trips to his own country club. If the economy wasn’t doing so well and so many Americans weren’t supporting him then I may have a problem with the golf thing. If you have anything worth while to add to this article then do so if not then don’t bother.

    • Donnie’s 400k tax-deductible giveaway does not compare to the over 110 million the US has spent so far paying for his golf outings. He plays at his clubs -then charges the Secret Service and White House Staff the room, meal, and golf cart rentals for his security. Get a clue.

  7. Lets not forget how many times obamas spent America’s money on trips to Chicago to get pizza!! There’s really no comparison on King Trump’s golf and the disgusting waist of money by obamas. Does anyone think those trips to MV were free for Americans? Glad they brought money to MV but just another example of that family’s waste.

    • How many trips did Obama take to Chicago for pizza? Please post your sources.
      Maybe the taxpayers did foot the bill for the Obama’s vacation. I’m ok with that.
      What I’m not ok with is trump spending taxpayer money to fly to his private club the majority of weekends. Where the money spent by the taxpayers goes to his private club. He may have given up his $400,000, but his club has pulled in a lot more then that.
      And let’s not forget that this is all after he said during the campaign that he wouldn’t be playing golf…

      • Can you please,please,please stay on topic. I love a political “debate” but what you are talking about has nothing to do with the story. Now about the militarization of America’s police forces…..

        • Islanduh, I agree with you that we should stay on topic and I generally do. However when Moved made his claims about the Obama’s flying to Chicago for pizza,I had to at least ask him to show his sources(he won’t) and point out to him the hypocrisy and whataboitisms of trump supporters. I’ve also got on DonDonDon as well for his off topic shots at trump.
          And in full disclosure,I wasn’t a huge fan of Obama and I definitely do not support the “man” in the White House now. I’m firmly in the middle,but do tend to lean more right then left.

    • Moved– I forgot about all those trips by the Obama’s to Chicago to “get pizza”
      Could you please verify at least one ?
      Do you not feel embarrassed to post such an obvious untruth ?

    • Moved– are you sure the Obama’s were going to Chicago to get “pizza”, or was HILLARY (AGGGGGGHHHHHHHH ) running some more sinister operation out of the basement (if it has one) ?

  8. To all of you sitting on the edge of your seats awaiting my response I apologise but my comment was not allowed because it would have offended a few of you nice folks. But here’s a start and Google the rest for yourselves.
    Daily mail on April 10 2009
    You’ll find an article telling you that obama flew a chef to the Whitehouse to make pizza. You’ll find more examples with a proper searching. I do love the fact that I can fire so many of you up just like our wonderful president does.

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