Police using closed Yorktowne Hotel for tactical training
The Yorktowne Hotel is in the midst of a major renovation designed to better serve the public, but in the meantime, it's being used as a tactical training ground for local police.
The York County Industrial Development Authority, owner of the York City hotel, partnered with the York County Quick Response Team to make it available for SWAT exercises, including door breaches and hostage-situation training, according to a news release.
“This is an unusual, but nevertheless important, example of how the hotel can serve and engage with the York community,” Jack Kay, chair of the authority, said in the release. “We were happy to cooperate with local law enforcement in this training exercise.”
Katie Mahoney, spokeswoman for the York County Economic Alliance, which staffs the authority, said local police groups have only used the portion of the hotel above the parking garage that is slated for demolition.
A few training exercises have taken place, most recently on Nov. 17, and more might happen, she said.
West Manchester Township Police Sgt. John Hanuska, a tactical commander with the quick-response team, thanked the authority for the "unique training opportunity."
"The resources afforded by YCIDA allowed us to sharpen our skills for the safety of all in York County,” he said in the release.
Mahoney added that the opportunity to use the hotel for training also was extended to police in Baltimore and Philadelphia.
The hotel has been closed since December 2016 as part of a $20 million renovation that will be funded in part by a $10 million state grant.
Mahoney said the authority and its project construction manager, Kinsley Construction, are reviewing bids from contractors before beginning work on the renovation.
The hotel is expected to reopen in late 2018 or early 2019, according to Mahoney.
"We'll have a better idea once we get started," she said.
— Reach David Weissman at email@example.com or on Twitter at @DispatchDavid.