Officers train for school shootings - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Officers train for school shootings

Source: WMBF Reporter Erika Gonzalez Source: WMBF Reporter Erika Gonzalez

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Horry County has not  seen a tragedy on the same scale as the one at Sandy Hook Elementary,  but officers are making sure they know what to do just in case.

On Thursday,  officers with the Horry County  Police Department (HCPD)  took Over St. James Middle School and spent the day training for what's considered to be one of the most dangerous situations,  taking down a shooter on the loose.

"You are walking into a situation where you know there's going to be gun fire involved," explained Lt. Robert Kegler with HCPD.

Thursday's training is part of an annual active shooter training. The day started with a briefing. Special Ops officers talked about how  active shooter incidents happening across the country are becoming more prevalent. The threat for one here is more real than ever.

Following the briefing,  officers are taken into the hallways and classrooms. This was  the hands-on  phase of training. Officers are taught new techniques on how to locate the shooter and take the suspect down. Also how to look for victims and get them to a safe spot where they can get medical help.

HCPD started the annual training 14 years ago, after the Columbine school shooting.

"We change a few things here and there every year, and we always have new officers coming, so in order to make sure everyone is trained, we have to do it every year,"added Lt. Jack Stewart with HCPD.

Kegler explained what the officers learn inside this school can be applied to similar scenarios.

"We train in different locations every year. Most of the time it is a school, but, it also helps us to get prepared for any type of active shooter situation, that occurs anywhere. Whether it's a mall, shopping center, school, or apartment building."

Thursday was the fourth day of training. On Friday, the department will wrap things up and every officer in the department will have done the active shooter training.

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