Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

July 8, 2014

NCSO prepares deputies to deal with ‘active shooters’

By Bob Belcher
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — It can happen at any time, any day, and anywhere.

Navarro County Sheriff Elmer Tanner wants his deputies to know what to do should the unthinkable happen — the threat of the “active shooter.”

Sheriff’s deputies took part in a required training exercise Tuesday held at Rice High School, where the lawmen were faced with a simulated event involving both “victims” and “shooters.”

In the drill, deputies in groups of four moved through the hallway of the school, going room to room to practice both teamwork skills and encountering a “holed-up” gunman.

Tanner said the required training is an important part of his agency’s job of protecting Navarro County residents.

“We usually hold this training in the summer so we don’t interrupt the school day, but we do want our officers to be familiar with the various school campuses,” Tanner explained.

Tanner said all the school districts in the county have cooperated with his agency when they request the opportunity to train on their campus.

But while Tuesday’s drill was held in a school setting, violence such as an active shooter can occur anywhere, Tanner said — at a store, a shopping mall, or a government or other public building.

The department uses its own tactical officers to conduct the training, providing guidance during the exercise and a critique of the officers’ actions following the incident.

“It keeps our officers ‘sharp,’” Tanner added.

Tanner said every officer in the department that might be part of dealing with an active shooter is required to go through the training exercise, in order to be prepared in the event such a tragedy strikes locally.

“Anybody who is a certified peace officer who may be out in the field responding to an emergency — we’re sending them,” he said.

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Bob Belcher may be reached by email at bbelcher@corsicanadailysun.com