2012-06-13 / News

Police take part in Active Shooter Training

By Carol McLeod
The News and Farmer/ The Jefferson Reporter


Lt. Jerry Blash of the Waynesboro Police Department prepares to enter a mock hostage situation. Lt. Jerry Blash of the Waynesboro Police Department prepares to enter a mock hostage situation. Waynesboro police investigators drew their weapons for an all-day shooting in Wadley.

They were among a class of regional officers who took part in hands-on Active Shooter Training through the Camden County Police Academy.

Lt. Shannon Brock of St. Mary’s Police Department said the training, which had a main focus on school shootings, was something local officers wouldn’t normally see.

An “active shooter” is an armed person, such as a sniper, who uses deadly physical force on other persons.

The better part of the eighthour learning block was reserved for role playing where officers from Waynesboro and Wadley acted out a variety of scenes with simulated weapons that shot paint rounds.

The round of paint, about an inch in length, came in two colors, red and blue.


Investigator Charles Prescott takes down an “active shooter” during a training exercise Investigator Charles Prescott takes down an “active shooter” during a training exercise “Blue is generally the identifier for law enforcement for training,” Brock said. “Red is for the one being the bad guy.”

Two of the training officers, Brock and Inspector Richard Sapp of Kingsland Police Department, started out with one being the bad guy and one being a captive or innocent bystander.

Officers were told only to follow the noise, in this case a loudly played radio, and assess the threat.

The training put the officers through their paces, at first one at a time and then later in sets of two or three.

One thing the training officers repeated was to keep moving, keep moving, as they made fast decisions in simulated workplace shoot-ings and hostage situations.

Waynesboro Police Chief Alfonzo Williams said the training also taught officers how to assemble quickly in emergency situations and take organized action as a team.

That, he said, is especially important in a rural community like Waynesboro that have no access to a SWAT team.

“Much of this training dealt with school shootings, which historically have occurred in small towns where law enforcement agencies aren’t usually prepared,” he said. “We’re taking a proactive stance. When children’s lives are in danger, we’re not going to just stand by …we’re going to face the threat directly.”

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