It started with a warning yell of, "Search warrant! Stay where you are!" From there, officers rammed their way into a motel room at the old Branson Inn. They weren't really looking for suspects. It was all part of a multi-agency law enforcement tactical breaching drill.
Mercy will demolish the Branson Inn on Highway 65 to make room for the new Mercy Clinic Branson, but the motel still had something to offer local officers. "We really thank Mercy for this opportunity," explained Taney County Sheriff Jimmie Russell. "We have ways to practice breaking down doors, but it's never as good as this. A real door in a realistic setting is always better training." The agencies involved in this drill included sheriff’s offices from Taney and Jasper counties, police departments from Springfield, Branson and Webb City and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
“This was a great way for us to get one more use from this old building before demolition begins,” explained Dwayne Doran, director of Safety and Security at Mercy Springfield. “We collaborate with these departments all the time, and this is just another way we can help them keep our communities safer.”
Demolition on the Branson Inn will begin within three months to make room for the 62,000 square foot, two-story Mercy Clinic Branson. The building cost is estimated at $34 million. Along with increasing the number of primary care doctors, the clinic will also feature urgent care, pharmacy, imaging and surgery. In addition, more specialists will be visiting patients in Branson on a regular basis.