LAMPASAS — Officers and first responders from agencies across Central Texas gathered at Lampasas High School on Thursday to receive training on how to respond to active shooters.
The two-day training event used the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training curriculum. The curriculum was developed after the tragedy at Columbine High School, and has become the national standard in active shooter response training. “The goal, of course, is to save as many people as possible,” said Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge, who was one of the instructors.
The training included both classroom instruction and active-shooting scenarios, with participants each taking turns playing law enforcement as well as shooters, injured victims and bystanders.
“It’s really the best training out there,” said Steven Sheldon, a Lampasas police officer who also serves as the Lampasas High School resource officer. “The scenarios are very realistic.”
The training not only included officers learning tactics on how to take down active shooters, but also focused on how to manage the dead, wounded and other bystanders, all while communicating with other emergency personnel.
“Getting in and neutralizing the shooter is just one small portion of the incident,” Standridge said. “You have to ask yourself what to do next.”
The training included 20 participants from the Lampasas and Copperas Cove Police departments, Texas Department of Public Safety, and the Lampasas and Travis County sheriff’s departments. Four emergency management service personnel and one FBI agent also participated in the training.
The need to actively communicate with emergency response workers during an active-shooter situation was highlighted by the tragic movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., in 2012.
“At Aurora, there were EMS standing outside, and police had to load people into their vehicles,” said Jay Darin, a special agent from the FBI who participated in the training. “There’s a need for more communication between law enforcement and EMS in those types of situations.”