Four days and more than 3,000 rounds of ammo later, about 40 officers are well prepared to protect the community from a mass shooting.
From Sunday through Wednesday, officers from the Corinth, Lake Dallas and Hickory Creek police departments joined to practice active shooter training techniques. Officials said the training was prompted by last year’s shootings in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn.
“It’s normally a training session we try to hold annually, but we haven’t the past couple of years,” Corinth police Lt. Jimmie Gregg said. “Because of all these recent mass shootings, it’s necessary we are prepared for the worst.”
The training, led by Corinth police, was held at Lake Dallas Middle School while students were on spring break.
Officers trained with 9 mm Glocks and AR-15s loaded with Simunition rounds, which are widely used in training because they can be fired from a standard weapon using the proper conversion lock and bolt. The nonlethal bullets leave a detergent-based, watercolor mark for visibility assessment, Gregg said.
“When they hit, they hurt. You know you have been shot,” Gregg said.
The training was a combination of classroom and “active” time. All officers who attended are now eligible for eight credit hours from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education.
Volunteers from Corinth’s Citizens on Patrol were on hand to act as bad guys, Gregg said, and other friends and family members of the officers assisted.
“It was a good opportunity for members of the community to actually get a firsthand look into what it is law enforcement comes face to face with,” Gregg said.
While the middle school was ideal for re-enacting a school shooting, the daily groups were able to cross-train in negotiations, learn how to deal with a barricaded person and handle other scenarios agencies might encounter.
“It’s unfortunate we have to worry about these mass shootings now,” Gregg said. “We are well prepared for whatever heads our way, thanks to the recent training.”
Gregg said all three agencies send an extended appreciation to the Lake Dallas and Denton school districts because without them, the training wouldn’t have been possible.
Officers from all participating agencies showed overwhelming support for the education they received this week, Gregg said.
“Active shooter training with all three agencies provides extra confidence in the officers — knowing others are trained on the same techniques as yourself is very comforting when going into hostile-like situations,” Gregg said.
MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .