FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The Fort Worth Police Department has been using its new state of the art training facility to do active shooter drills all week long.READ MORE: Stolen Vehicle With Golden Retriever Recovered, Returned To Happy Owner In Grand Prairie
The training was on the calendar even before the latest mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, where a man and woman with assault rifles and handguns killed 14 people.
“That’s the goal of this facility, to have ongoing continuing training available to our officers so we can address any threat that may come up in our community. An active shooter [drill] is one of those situations that we train very heavily for,” said Cpl. Tracey Knight, public information officer for the Fort Worth Police Department.
The Zero Tolerance Tactical Unit prepared for unknown threats inside the tactical village.
The walls and furniture are movable, and allows for different configurations that simulate real life situations.
For safety purposes, the police department did not show CBS 11 News its active shooter tactics.
“We’re not going to let anyone who might be watching know what the actual police tactics are,” explained Knight.
The tactics are constantly changing. Now, all patrol officers are trained for solo response to an active shooter situation.READ MORE: Texas 15-Year-Old Kills 3 Family Members, Shares On Social Media, Then Kills Himself
“We no longer wait for a tactical team to show up. We no longer wait for one officer or two officers, if an active shooter [situation] happens. Solo response officer training is now the norm across the country,” Knight said.
They have learned from every tragedy.
After the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, the department started training to respond along with EMTs, the fire department and MedStar. This type of response allows medical personnel to help victims as soon as possible.
“When a shooter becomes contained, we can bring medical personnel to help the people that are wounded almost immediately,” Knight said.
The Fort Worth Police Department has two full time SWAT teams. They are on call around the clock. There are five Zero Tolerance Tactical Teams, one for each division of the city. There is always a tactical unit on duty 24/7.
“It’s our job to always be better, and we have to be better than the threats that are out there.”
Police in Plano also hold an active shooter training course every year, along with firefighters and public safety communications officials. Garland police hold several training sessions throughout the year, most recently in November and again in February. Authorities in Grand Prairie meet two or three times each year for active shooter scenarios, often conducted in schools. Police in Irving meet once a year, and Arlington police train for these situations regularly, as they also happen to be doing this week.
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