(WACO) – The police officers were ready with guns drawn as they slowly walked down a hallway and entered a room where an armed gunman was standing in wait. The officers exchanged gunfire with the man, who fell to the ground. The officers surrounded him and checked him for additional weapons.
The situation was only a scenario.
But, it was one the Texas State Technical College Police Department is capable of facing in a real crisis.
“It’s good to keep in mind something that would really happen,” said Detective Roy Luna.
Officers recently had active shooter training in the old Culinary Arts building on Avenue D on TSTC’s Waco campus. The building worked well because of its maze-like design, Police Chief Brian Davis said.
“It went exceedingly well,” Davis said about the training. “It was important right now. It was also good practice.”
The training was done through the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center at Texas State University in San Marcos. The training center has courses in active shooter events and terrorism response tactics.
TSTC officers were led by Sgt. Joe Ashby, who attended the center five years ago for his own professional development. Ashby, a certified Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training instructor, was able to use the ALERRT’s Indirect Delivery program to temporarily secure at least $50,000 in free masks and non-lethal equipment for officers to use for their training.
“It went well,” said Ashby, who joined the TSTC police force in 2007. “We made sure we carried out plenty of run-throughs.”
Officers had classroom and scenario work and learned how the body reacts to active shooter situations and how they differed from hostage and barricade situations and standard building searches.
Methods to use in active shooter situations is already taught in police training academies using guidelines from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.
“It’s good for us to refresh,” Ashby said. “It’s muscle memory things. We have to match the intensity because it will never be like the real thing, but you get as close as you can.”
Davis said plans are being developed to offer the active shooter training for local law enforcement agencies as early as this fall.