Feedback: Police Train For School Shooting Scenario


Police officers stormed the Norwood-Norfolk Middle School Thursday with guns drawn as part of a training exercise to prepare them for the worst scenario imaginable - a school shooting.

It's a scenario that police hope they won't have to encounter in reality.
But if they do, they want to be ready.

"It gives them an advantage. They'll know what the school layout is. In today's climate, these things can happen at big schools, they can happen at small schools," said Ronald Pena, a New York State Police instructor.

As a volley of shots echoed through the school halls, officers from local, state and federal police agencies were put in different scenarios they might encounter if they responded to an active shooter situation - similar to the deadly attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
"If we're going to make a mistake, this is where we want to make it," said Pena.                                                  
While there haven't been any school shootings in the north country, it was just a few weeks ago the Norwood-Norfolk School went into a lockdown after a suspicious-acting man entered the building with a hidden BB pistol.
When police respond to a gun incident or shooting at a school, it's the unknown that can be their worst enemy.

That's why training exercises like this one are so valuable.
If they can get enough of this training to feel confident and comfortable in responding to these situations, even if they're unknown as to what the specifics are, they'll have a good working plan of how to best combat this," said Lieutenant Kevin Boyea of the New York State Police.                                        
This time, law enforcement officers were armed with fake weapons as they cautiously made their way down the school hallway looking for an armed gunman.
Organizers of the training exercise say plans are in the works to voluntarily involve teachers and school administrators in tactical drills like this so, should a real active shooter situation occur, they are better prepared.

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Thursday, December 8, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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