After the recent tragedies in California and Paris, many people are focusing on how law enforcement handles mass shooting situations.
In Enfield, police have been training for that kind of disaster for nearly a decade.
Enfield Police Chief Carl Sferazza said he hopes his officers never have to respond to an active shooter situation, but he said it is his responsibility to make sure they are prepared just in case.
On Monday night, officers were involved in a training exercise as if it were the real deal—an active shooter situation at the old Enfield High School.
“If this, God forbid, where to happen I don't want the officers for the first time to have to face this without ever having to practice it or anything like that,” Sferazza said.
The Enfield Police Department has held active shooter training exercises every year since 2006.
Sferazza said the training completely changed after the Columbine school shooting in 1999.
Officers used to secure the perimeter first, but now they are taught to run straight at the sound of gunfire.
Sferazza said one of the most difficult things is teaching officers not to render aid until the threat has been neutralized.
“We help people, and to see people crying out for help and to walk by them, we have to remind ourselves if we don't do that and don't focus on the next threat, it might not be a problem for me or the child we'll both be dead,” Sferazza said.
The training complete with fake victims and gunmen was scheduled long before the tragedies in California and Paris, but the officers understand the stakes and they will keep training until the respond perfectly.
“The officers are open to change. They want to do this. They want to be good at it and they realize that with little changes it could result in a loss of life and not and that's what our officers are doing today so I'm very proud of them,” Sferazza said.
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