Rapid response to active shooters
Wed, 19 May 2010 22:35:49 GMT —
It's been more than three months since a man walked into the Farm King store in Macomb and fired several shots.
That incident ended with the man taking his own life, but no other injuries.
The shooting is still very fresh in the minds of law enforcement officers who responded to the scene that day.
KHQA's Jarod Wells watched them Wednesday, May 19th as they went through training to handle similar situations.
The call has gone out, two members of a school chess club, fed up with getting bullied on Facebook, have opened fire. Some victims are dead, some are wounded. The training is as real as it can get for the officers involved, Illinois State Police District 14, McDonough County Sheriff's Department and Macomb Police Department, the only exception is bullets full of paint instead of lead and the role players are volunteers off the street.
Instructor ISP Trooper Dan Leezer said, "Obviously, if you have other police officers as role players, sometimes they know and understand the tactics and it's more predictable. Whereas if you have just people off the street, volunteers, it's unpredictable and as realistic as you can actually make it."
Leezer said, "They worked through the problems, that's what we wanted to see, if they could do problem-solving under stressful situations. They actually utilized the tactics they were taught very well. Ultimately, it came out very good."
Several of the officers and instructors compared this training to what they went through at Macomb's Farm King back in February.
Leezer said, "In an actual live situation, it's very instantaneous. Things are happening very quickly."
ISP Trooper Lance Bonney said, "It's always static in a training situation. They try to address those variables, but no matter what scenario you go to, it seems like there's so many variables that you haven't trained for and we try to cover as many as you can."
ISP Safety Education Officer Trooper Ed Howard said, "It would a whole lot more stressful out there in a real life situation, knowing that you could get shot at any moment. But hopefully if we train enough, our training will become repetitive so that under stress we're going to be able to do the things that we practiced to do in those stressful situations."
All variables and stress aside the most important thing about this training is getting all agencies working together.
Macomb Police Chief Curt Barker said, "By doing training like this we all get on basically the same page and everyone knows how the next person is going to respond."
Between 20 and 30 officers went through training Wednesday, by the end of the week all officers from the three agencies will go through the rapid response to active shooters training.