Active shooter simulation teaches law enforcement and medical agencies, civilians new strategies

Published: Oct. 9, 2021 at 5:47 PM PDT
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - There was organized chaos inside the Carson City Courthouse Saturday morning.

A pretend shooter - part of a training simulation for area law enforcement and medical agencies - held an entire courtroom full of people hostage.

The simulation ran by the Carson Sheriff’s Office taught employees of the court, and regular civilians, how to react if an everyday situation turns bad.

“We all know it takes time for law enforcement and fire to get to the scene. For this civilian based training no one is going to get to the scene any faster than the people who are already there,” said Sergeant Dan Gomes with the Carson Sheriff’s Office.

Sergeant Gomes says the last training happened seven years ago. With new employees, new technology, and new strategies, it’s important for everyone to experience an active shooter simulation in case a real one does happen.

“For our agency it’s invaluable training for people,” Sergeant Gomes said.

The ‘avoid, deny, and defend’ concept took center stage.

The training was especially important to Carson City District Court Judge Jim Wilson who could be a target of an active shooter.

“I feel like we’re ahead of the curve,” Judge Wilson said. “Hopefully we never need it. But if we need it we’ve got it.”

After going through the scenarios there were debrief sessions for everyone to give feedback and learn about what could have been done better.

“Lives are lost when there’s chaos. When people know what they’re supposed to do and they do it I believe that lives are saved,” said Judge Wilson.

Sergeant Gomes says 40% of agencies around the country have a strategy in place to fight active shooters. For those who don’t, or everyday people who wouldn’t otherwise know how to react, these simulations can close that 60% gap.

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