JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) – When a school shooting tragedy happens, we expect our first responders to be well trained and ready to respond.
Throughout the summer, members of the Jonesboro Police Department sharpened their skills with hours of training.
The training is invaluable when it comes to saving lives.
“We have training that goes on year-round,” said Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott. “Training for us never stops.”
The summer training took place in various schools across Jonesboro and involved officers undergoing training that simulated real-life events, so every officer who may respond to a mass casualty shooting event knows what to do.
“We do not want there to be any surprises,” Elliott said.
In the past three months, he said all of his officers have undergone extensive training to prepare for the worst.
For one full day, each of the department’s four different shifts spent hours in area schools, reenacting the scene.
“You can’t plan 100% that everything will go smoothly according to plan,” Elliott said.
The training simulates what officers might encounter when responding to a school shooting. They’re forced to make decisions on how to save lives when they themselves may be under fire.
“I expect that everybody from the bottom all of the way to myself, that we will respond and we will gear up and go in,” Elliott said.
These situations are more than officers looking for a shooter. The training prepares officers for scared students and staff rushing towards them.
“You have to push that child aside and find the person doing the shooting. If the shooting is still going on, you have to stop the threat,” Elliott said. “Going through different aspects of the scenarios so any flaws you can bring out, critique, and polish it up.”
The summer training for Jonesboro police officers