- Posted June 21, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Photo essays: Your stories in pictures
Active School Shooter Simulation
Imagine the following: Your local police department gets a call on the radio of “shots fired” At a local school. The transmission ends with “multiple calls”, meaning many people are calling 911 in regards to the incident. The responding officers know this is a real event.
The police arrive, unit by unit, to a scene of people running out of the school, some bloody, many confused. Children and adults are known to be inside, along with at least one armed suspect, as the police go in.
What happens next?
That is the exact question that was asked of real police officers as they were trained on a real time active shooter simulation this month at Maricopa High School.
Maricopa, Casa Grande, Central Arizona College, Ak-Chin, and Chandler Police Departments all converged on Maricopa High School in a training exercise that would see just under 100 officers go through intense training that culminated in officers walking into 4 different scenarios based on behaviors noted at recent real life active shooting cases. In each case, they encountered actors who were fleeing in terror, hiding, or acting as hostages and at least one actor that was a gunman. The officers had to search for and stop the suspect. The officers and shooter were issued special 9mm pistols that shoot paint tipped projectiles known as Simmunition FX rounds. They are more accurate, and more painful, than paint guns.
Each scene was declared as being over by the instructor when the gunman was subdued or mortally wounded. The Mesa Police Training Staff, along with members of the Mesa Police SWAT team would then critique just how the officers performed. They were very hard to please. Each misstep and each hesitation costs lives in the real world. The staff pounded these concepts into the officers constantly.
The Police officer’s sworn duty is to protect lives and property. In this type of situation, where the perpetrator is only intent on a high body count and certain death, the rules change a bit. The officer’s first duty is to stop what is causing the damage immediately. He cannot stop for victims, he can’t stand back to negotiate. He must do whatever he can to stop the problem now.
This week’s event is part of a 4 week training course that is being funded by grant money awarded to the Maricopa Police Foundation through Motorola Solutions Inc. and will conclude this coming Wednesday.