Hillsborough school officers undergo active shooter training

Hillsborough school officers undergo active shooter training

Dozens of school safety officers in Hillsborough County are getting ready for the start of the school year by preparing for scenarios they hope never happen.


What You Need To Know

  • School safety officers went through active shooter drills
  • An officer acted as a suspicious person during the training
  • More Back to School headlines

The guns they’re holding aren’t real, but the officers with Hillsborough County Public Schools are staying alert like this training is a real-world scenario.

Fifty officers at the maintenance buildings for the district in Tampa are training for what they need to do should they find themselves in the horrific scenario of an active school shooter.

“We’re trying to get as much training in as possible because you can never train too much,” said Desmond Walker, one of the training instructors for the county.

Walker has been training school safety officers for about four years now.

With his skilled background, he helps run the virtual simulation inside one of the buildings.

Basically, officers here are trying to shoot armed suspects and then shoot as many targets they can as efficacy as possible.

“We want to just stay prepared because unfortunately it’s something we’re starting to see more often,” Walker said.

So that’s why this entire afternoon is spent in the shooting simulator, at a car with an officer acting as a suspicious person and inside a makeshift empty classroom.

School safety officer John Smurr works at LLT Academy in Tampa and has gone through this training four times now.

“There could be 100 different scenarios that can go any which different direction,” Smurr said.

Which is why he says the more times they can train like this the better.

“We don’t want mass consequence,” Smurr said. “We want to stop the threat as soon as possible.”

Which he hopes gives parents and kids that peace of mind knowing schools in the county will have officers on campus ready for anything.

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