Thursday the group staged scenarios to put what they learned to the test, but Chief Jon Simpson says while officers were training, an actual standoff took place in the city.
Simpson says an armed man barricaded himself in his home for about an hour before surrendering peacefully. He says the coincidence proves just how important the training is, and the course's instructor, Dominick Misino, agrees.
Misino served as primary negotiator for the New York Police Department, and now he travels the country teaching other police departments how to handle hostage situations.
"This is a discipline that you can't fudge," Misino says. "Everybody is hanging on your words so this is something where you have to be able to operate and maintain your control and professionalism under fire."
He says hostage negotiation skills are absolutely necessary for modern law enforcement.
"An agency today that is well prepared to serve the community is an agency that prepares for everything," he says. "Sometimes there's a time for forceful tactics and sometimes there's not."