After the fatal shooting at a school in Uvalde, Texas, questions were raised about how long it took officers to apprehend the suspect. As concerns grow, officers in the Lehigh Valley go the extra mile.
The Northwestern Lehigh School District hosted the three-day training course. Officers were trained for real active fire scenarios.
“It’s not a matter of if, it’s when unfortunately, and this is the world we live in right now, all we can do is mentally prepare people,” said Edward Plantaric, instructor principal of the National Center for Biomedical Research and Training at LSU.
Officers went through performance-based field training and scenario-based exercises to describe real-life scenarios.
“Today was the culmination of the two days of training, it’s kind of putting it all together, we did different elements each day including breach techniques and responses,” said Kevin Smith, officer Carbon Lehigh Middle School Police Department.
Instructors used role-playing so officers could quickly assess the situation upon entering a classroom and get people to safety.
“We’re providing them with a response framework, a response system so that they’re not completely overwhelmed, they’ll have something to mentally come back to,” Plantaric said.
Northwestern Lehigh School District Chief Brian Tobin said the training taught departments how to communicate with each other, so law enforcement can quickly respond to an emergency.
“To the parents, to the students, we care about you and we are doing everything we can to prepare to prevent something like this from happening, but if it does, to end it as quickly as possible,” Tobin said.