NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – With the school year right around the corner, districts and even police departments have been preparing with active shooter training.
The superintendent at one independent district in Norman said Norman police have been there all week for hours on end.
“Unfortunately, it seems like, at least yearly, if not every other month, there is an incident of this that just reminds us that this is very important training,” said Capt. Tony Riddles with the Norman Police Department.
Riddles said preparation has been the key word this week for his department as well as for the Robin Hill School District. Police have worked for countless hours to get it all in.
“It’s kind of a grueling process to get everybody through the training,” Riddles said. “But that’s what we got to do to make sure it happens before school starts.”
According to Riddles, officers work several different situations with other officers, parents and kids role playing as students, teachers and even the active shooter. Each scenario is meant to replicate the real deal. Officers would show up in squad cars and work inside with screams and gunshots taking place.
The officers fire blanks, but they also use what are called “shot boxes” that replicate gunshots. They also use speakers to enhance the yelling noises.
Sometimes officers show up alone. Other times they show up together to work the scenarios as a team.
“We try to make it as real world as we can,” Riddles said.
“It’s just very important,” Melissa Baughman said, a third-year superintendent at the school district. “Especially with things going on in other states so we’re just hoping to be prepared.”
Baughman said the school already has security with extra cameras, key cards to get inside and even staff shirts that must be worn so they know who the staff is and who isn’t.
However, there’s no such thing as being too prepared.
“It’s as safe as we can be,” Baughman said. “We can’t predict everything, but we’ve done what we can for them to be safe.”