Police confined several citizens to their apartments and threatened to arrest people trying to get to their homes during training exercises (pictured) in a public housing neighborhood on March 21 in Albany, New York.
According to TimesUnion.com, many citizens voiced their anger incidents and more at a meeting of the Arbor Hill Neighborhood Association on Monday night at the Arbor Hill/West Hill Library.
The Albany, New York Police Department's SWAT team conducted a hostage rescue drill in a vacant apartment at the public housing complex, near occupied homes.
Residents heard gunfire, flash grenades and breaking glass, but had no idea what was going on.
"It looked like a small military operation complete with fatigues and full gear," said resident Lauren Manning. "Children should not be exposed to that, not on television, not on radio and definitely not in real life."
On Saturday, Police Chief Steven Krokoff said it was "insensitive" to conduct a drill near the occupied apartments.
Deputy Police Chief Brendan J. Cox said police officers had visited the apartments Tuesday night to inform residents of the training exercise on Thursday morning, but residents claimed that nobody was told.
Jay Cunningham, Director of Security Operations for Albany Housing Authority, said there will be no more tactical training in this area, but would not rule out training exercises at other public housing properties.
"The police and housing authority have admitted they made a mistake and I don't know how many times they have do this type of training, but what happened March 21st was not done correctly," said Common Council member Carolyn McLaughlin, reports Fox23News.com.
"Children shouldn't have to walk through simulated war zones," said Corrie Terry, founder of Mothers Against Murders and Shootings. "We need to be valued as a people that have a right to live without fear."
The police department will help bring in trauma counselors for children and residents upset by the training exercise, both of which will cost taxpayer money.
A protest of the police's training has been scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight.