As unlikely as the situation last week in Colorado is, being prepared for a shooter is important for law enforcement.
University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) police Wednesday evening put on an "active shooter" exercise to train officers for just such a scenario.
Police used an empty dormitory as a training site. In the scenario, a gunman was holed somewhere inside the residence hall.
"Today's scenario is going to be we have an active assailant in the dorms. He's going to be armed with a sidearm, a live weapon," said Sgt. William Queen with UNLV police. "Our team will be called by dispatch to the scene. They're going to have to form up outside as a tactical team to enter, try to evacuate as many as the students as possible and either apprehend or take out the assailant."
The run-through happened quickly, as if it was really happening. Quick decisions involved getting the shooter out quickly while protecting the people on campus.
"(Police must) not only respond to the shooter and the scene, but secure a perimeter and set up an area where we have medical services in case we have the need for those rescued to get medical attention - the survivors," said UNLV Officer Paul Velez.
UNLV police have been training for a situation like this for years.
"We've been doing this ongoing since the Virginia Tech incident. The Colorado shooting only serves to highlight the necessity of this training, to respond to a crisis incident on campus," Velez said.
After running through the simulations, officers discussed what went right, what went wrong and what could have been done better.
UNLV police will hold another training exercise with a different scenario on Aug. 1.
Copyright 2012 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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