Adrenaline-pumping training

Published 1:17 am Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Intense training seeks to prepare LEOs for active shooter situations

Andalusia Police Chief Paul Hudson said that he hopes school resource officers will never have to use the skills they learned at a three-day course held in Andalusia, but if they do, they will be properly trained.

Representatives of several law enforcement agencies from across the state came together to take part in a school resource officer course to train on how to act during an active shooter situation.

“A lot of these guys don’t get a lot of range training to teach them proper ways to tend to an active shooter situation,” Hudson said. “It is geared towards school resource officers, but any officer can take the course.”

Over the past three days, officers have been put through room entry situations, live fire drills on the range and being immersed in an active shooter situation in which they used SIM guns, which Hudson said looks like a real gun and fires like a real gun, but shoots paint balls. Alen Willis from the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department said that he participated in the course to get better training.

“We need to get this training so we can protect our students and teachers,” Willis said.

Michael Bishop from the Covington County Sheriff’s Department said that with this type of training, they learn more.

“It is intense,” Bishop said. “When you are put in a real life situation, I think you learn more, it’s a lot better than just looking at a piece of paper in a classroom. If you aren’t training, then kids are dying, so that is why we are doing this.”

Retired law enforcement officer Curt Carpenter, who has been running these types of courses for 10 years, said that it is important to immerse officers in real life situations to increase their knowledge of all their skills.

“It is important that these officers have a high skill set,” Carpenter said. “So we put them in the heat, with their adrenaline pumping and make them think on their feet. It builds their confidence up and gives them the opportunity to perform under stress.”

Officers from Greenville Police Department, Andalusia Police Department, Covington County Sheriff’s Department, Coffee County Sheriff’s Department, River Falls Police Department, Escambia County Sheriff’s Department, Montevallo Police Department and Thomasville Police Department all participated.