Florence police provide active shooter training - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Florence police provide active shooter training

Lt. Terrance Ford in an active shooter response simulation. (Source: Audrey Biesk) Lt. Terrance Ford in an active shooter response simulation. (Source: Audrey Biesk)

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Moving toward the sound of gun fire is something no one imagines doing, but it's something law enforcement officers are trained for.

The Florence Police Department is hosting a two-week-long active shooter response training to help provide officers with the right tactics in case of a mass shooting.

This is the seventh year in a row the FPD has put on the training for other public safety enforcement agencies within the Pee Dee.

“You cannot have a contingency plan for each threat that may occur, so we try to have the latest tactics and provide those for our officers and help them with this training by providing them similar stimulus that they would encounter in real life,” said Florence Police Lt. Mike Brandt.

Officers must prepare for the changing tactics, though. Brandt said the training prepares officers for real-life scenarios using non-lethal ammunition rounds to simulate being shot at with real guns.

"Those training rounds do hit the officers and in turn it leaves a mark to kind of let them know errors they have made and corrections they can make to the attackers,” said Lt. Terrance Ford, the lead emergency response team trainer.

Ford remembers the 1999 Columbine shooting, where the tactic was to stand by until S.W.A.T. or emergency units arrive.

“But now it’s going to be a single-unit response because we don’t have that opportunity to stand by and wait, because the longer we wait, the more lives are being lost,” he said.

Law enforcement must stay on top of the latest tactics and Brandt said there isn’t a limit on where and when an active shooter can hit.

“In what would be considered safe locations, those become good targets to strike fear into people and fear is actually the biggest tool for terrorists," Brandt said.

"You’re going to have someone who wants to flee because it’s sensory overload with people injured. You’re going to have firearms and gunshots going off,” Ford said.

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