Law officers train for school shootings

Wednesday, December 29th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Law officers are getting a lesson at school, one they hope serves as a deterrent to shootings in public places. More than 50 Oklahoma law enforcement officers from 27 cities, counties, campuses and at least one tribe converged on Union Intermediate High School on Tuesday for training in tactical techniques.

The training focused on high occupancy structures such as malls, office buildings and schools. The Dec. 6 shootings at Fort Gibson Middle School prompted agencies to seek the training by Tulsa Police Special Operations Team members. Four students suffered gunshot wounds in that shooting.

The "Hall Boss" technique enables the first officers on the scene to get to the shooter or shooters quickly, said Tulsa Police Capt. Dennis Larsen. "Instead of shooting at someone cowering under a desk, we want the shooter shooting at someone with a badge and a gun," Larsen said, "because we will shoot back."

Teams of officers approach and enter the building in formation, clearing as much space as they can as quickly as possible. If there are victims, officers move past them to the shooter. Other officers come in behind to rescue the wounded, Larsen said.

The department's Special Operations Team is well-versed in the tactic and has prepared a videotape to be disseminated to police departments in the nation's 50 largest cities, Larsen said. "We want people to know that we are training and we are ready," he said.