Heartland Law Enforcement Participates in Active Shooter Training

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) – “I always worry about them at school. It is a daily prayer, protect them and keep them safe,” said Toni Burdine.

Like any parent, Burdine said her worst nightmare is something bad happening to their children, especially at school.

Following recent school shootings, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and local police say they are adding new tactics to their active shooter training.

“When we respond to an active threat situation, our primary goal is to locate the threat and stop it,” said Missouri State Highway Patrol training officer Ricky Vannada.

MSHP and local police departments practice inside Dexter High School to protect students in the classroom in the event of an active shooter, using real-life scenarios.

“After Columbine, we realized we had to change tactics and react immediately,” Vanada said.

“We teach the same things that the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center taught our instructors,” Vannada continued.

He shared that the training props are fake, but the scene is meant to look and feel real.

During drills, officers practice with rifles similar to those used by officers, a trail of shell casings is laid on the ground, and there are actors instead of teachers and students.

Vannada says preparation is key because students, parents, teachers or officers have no control over when an active shooter event will occur.

“The goal is to train our officers to stop the threat as quickly as possible because the faster we can stop it, the more lives we can save,” Vannada said.

MSHP now trains outside agencies, including Stoddard and Dunklin County.

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