This story originally appeared on Chartiers Valley Patch on Jan. 18, 2012. We're reposting it in the wake of
Even though area police officers have spent the past two years training how to stop a madman who’s opened fire in public, each scenario is different and the buildings they enter are often like mazes.
That was the case in January when 28 officers from 19 neighboring police departments trained to stop an “active shooter” at Chartiers Valley High School. Although the situation wasn’t real, Findlay police Capt. Mark Joyce said the training gets your adrenaline running.
“I wouldn’t say nothing surprises us because every building is different,” Joyce said. “Some buildings are set up like a maze and it’s tough to maneuver. That’s why the (Collier Township) officers here wanted to do it here in the high school because it’s a challenge.”
Three teams of officers and their trainers worked on three separate floors hunting down a three shooters who had “shot victims and taken hostages.” Collier police Chief Tom Devin, whose department helped organize the training session, said it’s an important drill for the officers, teachers and school administrators when trying to handle an emergency.
Meanwhile, the teachers in the building for an in-service day were asked to lock their doors and push indicator cards under the cracks to show if their room was secure.
“We talked to them about what their duties would be,” Devin said about the teachers.
Joyce added that they want the school districts and police departments on “the same page” in case of an emergency.
One officer was “shot” with the specialized paintball pellets during the training, but the officers said it was a success.
“When you’re in that moment, you don’t want to mess up in front of your peers,” Joyce said. “Their adrenaline is pumping. I’ve never seen anyone goofing off. The officers love doing this stuff, and they know how it important it is.”
The officers will return for a debriefing on Feb. 13, and Devin has said they would like to conduct a similar training session at the middle school in March.