Earlier this month, Santa Monica College in California was the latest in a string of recent school shootings. With the massacres at Sandy Hook Elementary School and Columbine High School still fresh in the minds of the public, news of the incident was just a reminder of how quickly an average school day can become something far worse. For this reason, many police departments continue investing in law enforcement training designed to prepare officers for these scenarios.
Although police arrived at Columbine High School soon after the shooting began, they were forced to wait for an “elite” team to arrive due to their lack of training, the Port Arthur News reported. However, as these incidents continue, law enforcement officers cannot afford to wait if the lives of countless students and faculty are in danger.
On-site Training Provides Unique Opportunity
Knowing the right training is critical, police officers from several Texas law enforcement agencies recently participated in specialized training at Hamshire-Fannett Middle School. There, they learned how to address and quickly resolve an incident involving an active shooter. During the training session, participating officers wore protective gear and used guns that fired colored soap pellet rounds. Being in a true school setting allowed them to navigate long hallways and get a sense of what it would be like if the school was actually under siege.
Also in Texas, police officers from several law enforcement agencies had a chance recently to participate in active shooter training at Valley Oaks Elementary. Because the school is slated for demolition, officers were able to train realistically without having to be concerned about damaging their surroundings; participants broke glass, used explosives to gain entry into rooms, and worked together to overcome multiple obstacles, including a locked front gate.
Online Training Brings Real-life Scenarios to Officers
Budget concerns are a critical factor for many agencies when it comes to training—but nowadays online solutions can help law enforcement officers prepare for real-life situations without the high cost and lost man hours associated with on-site training.
Some online training providers deliver highly engaging interactive course modules featuring incident-based video to provide officers a virtual front-row seat to emergency response events. Such training not only ensures retention with regard to procedures and incident management, but it helps fulfill mandatory continuing education requirements with courses that are easily accessible 24/7 from any computer with Internet access.