NAPA, Calif. (KGO) —
Officers with guns drawn, scramble through a community college library shouting “Shots Fired! Shots Fired!” It’s a realistic training scenario that mimics real-world events likely the deadly school shooting at Columbine High School nearly twenty years ago.
“Columbine was the pivot point for law enforcement,” said John Bennett, Special Agent in Charge of the San Francisco FBI.
Bennett is leading this drill at Napa Valley College, specifically designed for an active shooter scenario inside a school library.
“We provide realistic training,” explained Bennett. “A place like this they have to work through issues where there’s something in their way, or they can’t see clearly.”
At Columbine, a school resource officer did initially confront the two shooters but then retreated to wait for a SWAT team.
At the Napa training, local police don’t wait for a SWAT team or the FBI. They go in immediately and if necessary, put themselves between the shooter and potential victims.
“They have to go stop the killing. They may have to go by themselves,” said FBI Trainer Ken Karch. “The difference is with an active shooter, you don’t have that time. The average of these is about 3 to 5 minutes. In Sandy Hook, every 11.5 seconds, somebody was killed.”
The Napa College participants are from local agencies, including Calistoga, Vacaville, and Napa.
“Where my odds of it happening are still pretty low, I can’t play the odds,” said Napa Valley College Chief of Police Ken Arnold. “I’ve got to have people who know what to do.”
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