Mass shootings are a harsh reality that law enforcement has to prepare for. Abilene police are partnering with several city-based law enforcement agencies to maintain their training for active-shooter situations.
Abilene police, Abilene Christian University police, Taylor County Sheriff’s deputies and Hendrick Medical Center security officers will undergo the 16-hour course on Thursday and Friday. The course includes classroom lessons and practical scenarios.
“They will be learning everything from team movement techniques—how to go into the structure by themselves to isolate, distract and neutralize a shooter—all the way up to a five-person team,” Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge said.
Standridge said most officers work alone; therefore, learning how to work together in preparation for a mass shooting is crucial. According to the FBI, one third of officers who go into an active shooting situation alone end up getting shot.
Local officers are training with special Glocks that are loaded with detergent-based bullets that pack a punch.
“It travels at about 400 feet per second,” Standridge said. “It can break naked skin so the officers have to wear appropriate clothing and it reinforces good tactics and it strongly reinforces poor tactics because if they get shot with these things, they'll remember them for a long time.”
Since Hendrick Medical Center is hosting the training, officers will be allowed to train inside an empty wing of the hospital.
“It represents any type of hallway in a hospital it could also represent any type of hallway in a school and it allows the officers to train in a realistic setting and to co confront those settings and to practice time and time again,” HMC Security Coordinator Greg Post said.
In order to protect confidential training strategies, cameras were not allowed into the practical portion of the training.