MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As we learn more details about the Texas school shooting, officer training is taking center stage when it comes to saving lives. Friday, Collierville Police were in active training mode to make sure people know what to do in the event of a school threat.
They started early. Collierville police, firefighters and volunteers filled into the empty Collierville High School for training on what to do if a gun-wielding intruder barges in.
“We try to do this every year. With what happened in Buffalo and then what happened with Texas, it just shows the importance of the reoccurring training,” said Inspector Kenneth Rowlett with Collierville Police.
It’s just role-play, planned months before this week’s tragedy in Texas, but it also reinforces the importance of having officers go over what to do in case of the unimaginable.
“Our scenario we did this morning was that we had two shooters inside the school and multiple victims who have been shot,” Rowlett said. “The officers responded to that. They were able to stop the shooters and then begin to escort fire department resources into the building to render aid to those who were wounded.”
The Texas school shooting is on the minds of many, especially as more details come to light about how everything was handled.
One thing we are hearing about the Texas shooting is that it may have taken officers almost an hour before they actually moved into the school. Collierville Police say they are trained to do just the opposite.
“But that is absolutely the number one priority. The first thing you have to do is stop the shooter from shooting. However, you have to engage the shooter, whether it’s taking in custody or use force, that is the priority is to stop any additional killing or shooting that is taking place,” Rowlett said. “We train our officers if there is a sound of gunfire they’re to move toward that gunfire, whether they’re there by themselves or we have a team of officers there. We do train an independent response.”
Collierville most recently had to put its active shooter training to work after the shooting at the Kroger store there.
“At Kroger we saw our officers respond to enter the building,” Rowlett said. “Of course, our shooter was already down. But we saw the training kick in and then react in the manner they’ve been trained.”
Friday morning, the active shooter training was just for Collierville officials, but Friday afternoon it opened up for outside agencies to also take part in the training.