AURORA, Colo. — School is back in session for districts across Colorado, but no district is as prepared for the unthinkable, like Aurora Public Schools.
This summer, campus officers underwent intense active shooter drills in order to prevent the next Sandy Hook or Columbine. The intense training is full of frantic moments, and fiery exchanges.
Campus Safety Officer Tyler Brown says the training is absolutely necessary. “Unfortunately this is the era that we live in where we have to prepare for mass casualty situations.”
The training was led by Denver-based Tac*One Consulting. A group that travels the country teaching various tactics to law enforcement agencies.
Joe Deedon is a former SWAT team member, and helped lead the week long training session. “This is by far, one of, if not the best prepared school district.” Deedon says the training is above par of what local law enforcement agencies are getting.
Chris McCord is also with Tac*One Consulting and says APS is on the cutting edge. “Now these officers know what to do, and they don’t have to wait.”
For an entire week, campus officers receive training for everything from treating victims, to hostage situations.
Officers are put in the most chaotic, yet controlled environment possible. They’re armed with new knowledge, and special non-lethal ammunition. Deedon says it’s a very high stress situation. “It’s one of the dangerous things we’ll ask them to do, but obviously the stakes are high, so they’ve got to be very proficient.”
And time is of the essence. Deedon says active shooters typically don’t stop killing until they’re shot, or they take their own life. “It’s a race against the clock.”
Tyler Brown says, “it’s very important to train in this situation because it doesn’t happen on a daily basis, but when it does happen, it’s going to be a very serious incident.” An incident school officers will be ready to act on, but hope they never have to.