Law enforcement trains for active shooter response

Published 1:38 pm Thursday, July 26, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Several law enforcement agencies came together to train and improve their skills for reacting to active shooter scenarios on July 25-26.

Chilton County Sheriff’s Office hosted the training at Verbena High School.

Clanton Police Department, Thorsby Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office also participated. The DA’s Office provided lunch and snacks.

Officers trained with several scenarios using simulated ammunition.

“We hope there’s not (an active shooter event),” CCSO Assistant Chief Shane Mayfield said. “The more we train for it, hopefully that is a deterrent if we do have people thinking about that.”

Mayfield said communication and teamwork are crucial to response.

Communication is perhaps the most essential to ensure all the officers are covered, not open to being shot, as they look for the armed suspect.

Mayfield said the training “builds on several of their skills, movement, how to arrest someone that is armed, how to disarm somebody.”

The trainings provide important information that give officers a feel for what an active shooter scenario might be like and how to respond.

“You would obviously like to know as much information as you can before you get there, but that doesn’t always happen, so we are going to run some scenarios today where they don’t know something is happening until they arrive,” Mayfield said.

Firing a weapon while moving is also practiced.

“You’ll learn you can only move as fast as you can accurately shoot, which is not as fast as you think it is,” Mayfield said.

This training is also beneficial to those who may serve as Security Resource Officers for Chilton County Schools.

“Thankfully, this coming year we will have an SRO in every school in the county,” Mayfield said.

He said having the SROs and officers that would respond in an active shooter event complete the same training helps ensure they will be able to work together in a response.

Trainings have been offered semi-annually with a hope of additional training being hosted locally as funds allow.