Beyond the Badge: Inside look at how reserve officers train for an active shooter scenario
KOSCIUSKO COUNTY, Ind. --- School shooting. Two words you never want to hear and sadly, in some cases, it seems like they’re becoming the norm.
According to data from Education Week, there were 34 school shootings in 2021. As of the end of last year, there has been 92 since 2018.
It’s a tragedy becoming more common and something you never could imagine happening to your or your kids, until it does.
This week on Beyond the Badge, we’re going back to Kosciusko County, where they’re training reserves across Northern Indiana to prepare for scary situations just like these.
From January to May, they’re working on core skills.
“Now, we have ramped it up to we have an active shooter or an active killer event that's going on within the schools,” Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office Training Sergeant Travis Shively.
It takes a lot to build up to that point. It’s not all about the action; they also spend time in the classroom, learning about the history and statistics to get ready to run these scenarios.
“We started to put a lot of pressure and speed,” Shively said. “We want speed, we want speed, we want speed because obviously, the quicker we get in there, the quicker we can front, whatever that threat is, whether it's an active, you know, it's a gunman, whether it's somebody with a knife, whatever it may be, and the quicker we get there, the quicker we start saving lives.”
The group practices drills and scenarios over and over again to prepare and learn from their mistakes.
“We go over and over and over and each time it gets better and better and better,” Reserve Officer Brandon Johnson said. “I'd rather get shot 1000 times up here than one time out there. Because I can learn from that. And that's what we're here to do. We're here to protect and serve the community. And sometimes that means putting our lives in danger to do that.”
“We have to, as a law enforce community, make sure that we are ready at that, you know, drop of the hat, you know, the snap of the fingers, the firing of the first shot, that we're ready to go,” Shively said. “And that's where we're, we're trying to get to with these guys.”
“And that's our job is to go in there and make it happen,” Johnson said. “We don't hesitate. We go in there knowing what the risks are. We know that our lives are on the line. But we also know that there's kids on the line, there's teachers on the line, there's faculty staff that are on the line. And when that evil decides to present itself or they're to stop, and that's why they train us is to protect the community.”
To see the full training scenario, see the video above.