Officers Train Mentally, Physically For Active Shooters At SHSU

By: Alex Lotz Email
By: Alex Lotz Email

Recent tragedies like the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school have local law enforcement agencies training for the worst.

On Tuesday, Walker County officers underwent an active shooter drill at Sam Houston State University to mentally and physically prepare themselves for the potentially deadly situation.

It's a scenario that is all too familiar. Pops of gunfire fill the air, igniting screams from unsuspecting victims. A gunman enters a campus and fires at random, creating a scene of chaos and panic.

Dozens of officers from multiple agencies are trying to prepare themselves if this were to happen.

"These events keep happening with more frequency," said Buda Police Chief Bo Kidd, who led the training. "It's the new reality we live in."

This exercise involved three active shooters on the campus of Sam Houston State University in Huntsville.

SWAT team specialists are preparing themselves for the most dangerous situations. Kidd said they have one objective.

"You have to stop the killing, and then you can help those effected by it," said Kidd.

The scene evolves quickly, and although the bullets are just paint, the sound and pain of being shot is realistic. Kidd said this creates a great deal of stress for first time trainees because of the speed at which they hit.

"We want to simulate that stress and learn how to work through it," said Kidd.

Each round travels around 350 feet per second, making this exercise all too real for the trainees.

"The fact that they can train together and learn how each other works, in these types of situations it would just benefit the community," said Huntsville Police Chief Kevin Lunsford.

Lunsford said each second can save a life, and they have to be ready at all costs.

"Whoever is on duty has to be willing and able to respond and work with whoever else at that particular time," Lunsford said.

During the exercise, the officers also practiced administering first aid to victims and evacuating classrooms. This is just one of many emergency training exercises these law enforcement officers undergo throughout the year.

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