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Missoula County Begins Active Shooter Response Training

active shooter training
Photo courtesy of U.S. Naval War College/Flickr

Tomorrow, June 11, at Bonner high school, a group of teachers, law enforcement professionals, hospital workers and others will undergo training on how to respond to the threat of an active shooter.

The training sessions, put on by Safariland Traiing Group, will not only teach those that attend how to be better prepared, it will teach them how to teach the information to others.

“The plan is to have this cadre of instructors,” said Missoula County Sheriff’s Department Captain Brad Giffen. “In order for us to provide this to schools and the community of Missoula, it has to be sustainable and affordable. The only way that we saw to do that was to have some of our own people trained: not just law enforcement, but teachers. Then we can provide training either at the schools or upon request at a business, or whatever you might have.”

This training is partly a result of recommendations made during a series of Missoula School District One school safety meetings that were started after the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. Griffin says that the past procedures of simply locking down a building are not enough.

“We’re not trying to create a bunch of ninja police teachers, I mean that’s not really the concept,” Giffen said. “The concept is that, right now, as far as the training goes in our school systems and in some of our large buildings and businesses, people look at the lock-down as the save-all thing. Well, it’s not. It’s just going to give you time to think. We’re giving you tools to put in that thinking time.”

The tactics taught are under the banner of what has come to be known as the run, hide, fight approach to an active shooter situation. Some of the the tools that trainees will learn include how to barricade a doorway, as well as how to use items found in a typical classroom as non-traditional weapons.

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