Active shooter training prepares officers to keep students safe

Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 5:32 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2022 at 9:57 PM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Over 30 North Charleston police officers gathered at Dunston Elementary Thursday to practice real-life scenarios that apply to an active shooter situation.

The goal of training sessions is to get the officer’s blood pressure up by running or jogging to best replicate the feelings displayed during an actual shooting.

The training lasted for about five hours, with instructors organizing the best exercises to prepare officers.

“We get enough bodies in there to stop, engage, or push the threat to a different zone,” North Charleston Police Department Sgt. Kyle Jamison said. “Now, it’s time to partner with our fireside, with our guys who have medical experience to stop that guy.”

Active shooter training programs began after Columbine, but Deputy Chief Ken Hagge said they have to change tactics as fast as suspects have to change.

“I’m very confident in the plan,” Hagge said. “I like the officers that we have in place. They love kids, and they love the schools, and there’s nothing more dangerous than a mom whose kid is hurt, and that is what these officers are.”

Active shooter training sessions occur multiple times throughout the month for all officers to receive training. The North Charleston Police Department handles school resource officer duties of 32 schools within Charleston and Dorchester counties.

Currently, two school resource officers are placed at each high school, one at middle schools and three floating two-group teams at elementary schools.

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