RENO, NV (KOLO) Panicked students fleeing violence as police officers respond. We've watched it happen elsewhere with horror and dismay.
Chief Todd Renwick and his staff at the University of Nevada, Reno have been watching too, along with others in their profession, and learning. The possibility of something happening on their watch is never far from their thoughts.
"And therefore we're constantly training whether it's physically, mentally, or just conversations within the department."
So they train for that possibility, taking part in exercises, often with other departments, Now they've gone a step further, entering into an agreement which will place two university officers on the Washoe County Sheriff SWAT team.
Renwick says the move will expose those officers to a different level of specialized training in tactics and equipment, knowledge they can bring the information back to the department.
"The men and women who are on these types of units, these special units receive training beyond what regular officers receive. They specialize in what they do."
If something were to happen, the first on scene will still be one of the university's patrol officers, but if it becomes a sustained incident, something requiring a SWAT team response, having people on that team who are intimately familiar with the campus and its buildings, could be a big plus.
"We can provide that intricate knowledge to a team which may have to enter one of those buildings."
Renwick is quick to say the UNR campus and others his department is responsible for--TMCC, Western Nevada and DRI--are safe environments. Keeping them that way through enhanced capabilities, preparing for the worst, is a constant concern.
Copyright KOLO-TV 2019