Wagoner Law Enforcement Agencies Train To Handle Active Shooter Situations

Friday, January 3rd 2014, 5:29 pm
By: News On 6

In light of recent deadly mass shootings, law enforcement has changed the way they respond to in these situations. They no longer wait for a SWAT team. Instead, they rush in to save as many people as possible.

For the past two days, dozens of police officers and sheriff's deputies around Wagoner County have been learning how to respond, should the unthinkable happen in their town.

The men and women from law enforcement agencies surrounding the city of Wagoner have been in active shooter training.

"We have the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office, we have the Wagoner Police Department, we have some representatives from the Wagoner County Sheriff's office," said instructor Doug Dolina.

Simply put, they're learning to respond in the event a gunman enters a school or business or any building.

"All of the active shooter response programs are in response to all of the recent events that have happened since Columbine," Dolina said.

The class is sponsored by the The Council of Law Enforcement Education and Training. It's a two-day course that includes time in a classroom and real-life scenarios.

"You train for chaos," said Wagoner Police Chief Bob Haley.

Haley brought the training to his city because of the high profile tragedies at Sandy Hook Elementary and Aurora, Colorado.

"You can't never predict where or when something is going to happen, so we have to train for any possible incident. It could just as easily happen here as it has happened all over the country," he said.

The course includes a special $50,000 training kit, provided by the Oklahoma Department of Homeland Security. It has helmets, guns and bullets. The guns are real but the bullets are modified. They travel slower than real bullets and are loaded with paint. It's called "simunition."

The officers hope they never have to actually use the techniques they learn in training, but say it's important for every community, no matter the size, to take these situations seriously and have people trained and ready to respond.

"The Council of Law Enforcement Education and Training has got a very high priority for this program to get to every officer that is in the state of Oklahoma," Dolina said.

Right now, the training is not mandatory, but the state is considering adding the two-day course to its peace officer training academy in Ada.