NYPD Stages Hostage Drill on "Boardwalk Empire" Set

The producers of the HBO show lent the NYPD its set in Greenpoint, Brooklyn for a rescue exercise

Thursday, Sep 20, 2012  |  Updated 7:21 AM EDT
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Members of the NYPD's Emergency Service Unit learn to take down a terror target on the set of the HBO show

NBC 4 New York

Members of the NYPD's Emergency Service Unit learn to take down a terror target on the set of the HBO show "Boardwalk Empire." Several of the officers involved recount the experience to Ida Siegal.

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RAW: NYPD Hostage Drill

The NYPD used the Greenpoint, Brooklyn set of "Boardwalk Empire" for a hostage training exercise Wednesday afternoon.
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The NYPD took over the set of acclaimed television show "Boardwalk Empire" Wednesday to stage a dramatic hostage situation drill.

"There were helicopters involved, ground teams moving on the boardwalk. So there was a lot going on," said Lieutenant Ken Beatty, who participated in the exercise. 

"Boardwalk Empire," which films in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, follows a group of New Jersey gangsters during Prohibition.

"It looked like you were walking into the 1920s, on to the boardwalk," recounted Sgt. Gerard Flood. "It was very, very realistic."

"I've never seen the show, but there was certainly a wow factor there," said Beatty. 

Apparently, the set is also perfect for practicing terror drills.

In Wednesday's exercise, the emergency service unit rushed to the scene by police helicopter, and fast-roped to the boardwalk.

There, they cleared the boardwalk of "civilians," played by college students enrolled in the NYPD Cadet Corps. 

The ESU rescued the decoy hostages from the mock Ritz Carlton Hotel building, and took six decoy armed terrorists into custody. 

A "wounded officer" was also airlifted to safety.

The NYPD has been holding drills to "address the threat posed by multiple active shooters after armed terrorists in Mumbai killed hostages in a hotel, train station, restaurant and Jewish community there in 2008," the department said.

The team practices in many of the city's high-profile locations.

"We train in the Empire State Building, Liberty Island, anywhere in New York City that has the cool factor," said Flood. 

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