It’s every officer’s worst nightmare – there is a person attacking a location with a steady stream of victims. Whether they are using a vehicle, bomb or firearm, the situation is always tragic and causes the nation to mourn. Once an active threat begins, there is never a “win” situation – the best first responders can do is mitigate loss. This is done by responding quickly and accurately given the situation.
Whenever a mass shooting of any kind occurs, officers and citizens alike wonder what could have been done differently. While it may be nearly impossible to prevent these situations from ever happening again, what can be controlled is the way officers respond through active threat training.
Agencies such as San Mateo Sheriff’s Office in California have put even more emphasis on training for active threat situations. Training officers as well as Sheriff Carlos Bolanos were able to demonstrate to local media how important it is to experience these events in a realistic environment. By going through heart-pumping scenarios on their V-300® 4K, officers can learn to work through fear and practice making split-second decisions.
“I think what we’re hearing very clearly is the public’s expectation that law enforcement is going to go in and immediately eliminate the threat to safety, and that’s what we’ve been training on for many years.” -Sheriff Carlos Bolanos
San Mateo County SO is the first law enforcement agency in California to have a 4K simulator. The crystal-clear picture helps officers feel like they are really in the active threat training scenario projected onscreen.
Not long after the CNN footage was recorded in Enid, Oklahoma, a mass shooting at a medical building in Tulsa occurred. This further solidified the need for Enid Police Department to continue their active threat training.
Enid PD officers notice a difference, with Officer Thomas Duran mentioning that he believes he is a better officer after the training compared to before. In the video below, you can see how Officer Duran must scan all angles for threats. He must take care not to react too abruptly and shoot an innocent running away, but also must neutralize the threat.
VirTra has created three separate nationally-certified curricula dedicated to active threat response. Titled “ATAK” (active threat / active killer), each course has been reviewed and NCP-certified by IADLEST. Totaling 11.25 hours of coursework, officers can learn everything from the history of active threats to the steps for a response.
Like other V-VICTA® curriculum, the ATAK series includes a lesson plan, presentations, testing materials, class surveys, rosters, and more. There are assigned scenarios designed to let students practice the skills they learn in class. This provides the “teach, train, test, sustain” methodology used in all V-VICTA courses.
To adopt our active threat training program and many others to your training regimen, contact a specialist.