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Salem And Washington Police Train For School Shooting

Last updated on Tuesday, January 15, 2013

(SALEM) - Salem City Police and Washington County Deputies shouts of “drop your weapons” echoed through the halls of West Washington Junior-Senior High School last week as 26 officers worked in teams armed with training rifles and handguns loaded with paint balls to find and neutralize another officer acting as a shooter in the school building.

The Salem Leader Democrat reports that down another hallway, Sheriff's Department Detective Brent Miller took reserve officers through drills intended to teach them how to search for possible shooters in the school, working in a formation of five officers.

Emergency Management Coordinator Desi Alexander lay on the floor in the hall, acting the part of a wounded teacher, reaching out toward officers as they passed her, begging for help.

It was a test to see if they would stop. Miller says the first priority is to neutralize the threat and then help the wounded.

Sheriff Claude Combs says this sort of training is as close as officers can get to a real active shooter situation.

The active shooter program began in Washington County in 2007 but Combs says the department hasn't trained like this for a couple years but plans to get back into that training now.

Combs says, he'd like to expand the training to Salem schools as well in the future.

The departments have two certified instructors Brent Miller and Todd Combs teaching the program called Active Shooter. Combs says, more training will be done at the school during summer break.

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