Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Active-Shooter Training

Some of the most intense training in the 17 weeks of the 142nd Central Texas Police Academy happened at an old elementary school in Bryan during week 16.

First, a little history lesson: In the 1960s and 1970s, events like the Watts Riots and Symbionese Liberation Army shootout led to the creation of SWAT teams – which most agencies now have in some form. More recent tragedies like the North Hollywood shootout in 1997, the Columbine High School massacre in 1999 and the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings have helped shift protocol again.

Because of these and other incidents, all officers are trained in active-shooter response. Law enforcement first responders are now trained to enter the situation instead of setting up a perimeter to contain the situation and call the SWAT team.

The training: During the training, cadets used weapons that fired “simunition” rounds, which leave a colored mark where they make contact. It’s very much like a paint gun.

The first time through the simulations, the recruits made mistakes – as you would expect for anyone doing anything for the first time.

It’s definitely better that the cadets go through this type of situation in a controlled environment so they get a feel for it before hitting the streets. They get to feel the adrenaline rush as the bullets scream and the loud shots echo through the halls of the abandoned elementary school.

You can get a taste of the adrenalin rush by watching the video below!

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