Dothan, AL - There were guns, game plans, and plenty of adrenaline, but there wasn’t a bad guy.
“It’s training the department is providing for us, and hopefully it’s training we never have to use,” said Dothan K9 Officer Darren Moody.
About a dozen Dothan police officers spent the Thursday training for an active shooter situation. This involves a morning at the gun range, time in the classroom, and then practicing what they’ve been taught.
But 15 years ago you might not have seen this kind of training.
“Everybody talks about Columbine. Nobody had really faced something like that before. The tactics or the response to something like that before was the officers would respond to the scene set up a perimeter and then wait for swat or negations to enter. Now we can’t do that,” said Dothan Police Sergeant Jason Penn.
Now, as soon as the officers pull up they no longer sit and wait on the SWAT team. They create an action plan and go right in because in this case seconds matter.
“While you’re standing out there waiting there are people getting hurt or killed inside. As our creed goes in law enforcement we have to get in there and stop that from happening. We don’t have time to wait,” said Dothan Police Lieutenant Scott Heath.
All of the department’s 150 officers will take part in this training over the course of ten weeks.
“The patrol guys are the first responders. They’re going to be the first ones to get there. So they need to be trained and ready to go in and take action,” said Penn.
The Dothan police department provides 48 hours of training every year, although they are only required to have twelve.