Active shooter training in Chipley

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CHIPLEY, Fla. (WTVY) When an active threat is on school grounds there is usually only one officer on campus.

So to improve immediate response, the public safety division at Florida Panhandle Technical College conducted hands-on training for SROs.

"This is simulating a SRO at a school… an active shooting happens and now that officer can't wait for backup they have to go now and they have to eliminate the threat" says Florida Department of Law Enforcement Deputy Director Eric Yopp.

Twenty senior officers from Bay, Jackson, and Washington counties took part in the training at Roulhac Middle School in Chipley.

They'll go back to their respective agencies and share what they learned.

"So it has a spider web effect. It'll just keep growing and growing. The more people we can train for this is the better off we're going to be. The more people will have knowledge of it," says Director of the Florida Panhandle Technical College Greg Hutching.

The training was 16 hours over two days.

"Yesterday started off the classroom portion and they did live fire out on the range. Today is all scenario-based training," says Yopp.

There were three scenarios, each having more obstacles than previous ones.

"It is very realistic. It's very impactive and really gets you to open your eyes up and makes you more aware of how you always have to be aware," says Hutching.

In some scenarios, the threat is clearly visible, but in others, trainees had to locate it.

"Always have a plan in mind and remember our number one priority is saving people's lives. That's what we do," says Hutching.

This is a new program and only the third session to be completed in the state.

Seventeen other sessions have been scheduled in other parts of Florida.

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