As threats to our children evolve so must the techniques used to stop those threats. On Thursday, the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office and Shreveport Police came together to train and better prepare for an active shooter situation.
Chances are, if something like a school hostage situation were play out, it would take several agencies working together to resolve it safely. So, if they work together, why not train together? Special response teams from both agencies routinely practice for the real deal, right down to negotiations with a hostage taker.
"One particular specialized team may not have enough personnel to completely clear that building, to assault that building, if need be. So, it's important to merge with other teams that are similar to ours so we can all become familiar with each other. It's also important for us to bond that friendship that you have in a team environment," said Cpl. Ben Raymond with the Shreveport Police Department.
In Thursday's scenario one of the gunmen is losing patience. He's hungry, and he has hostages. He slid a note under a doorway demanding food. "They're scrambling to make sure that he's taken care of right now. He's getting food. It's in route," said Sgt. Avery Leary with the Caddo Sheriff's Office.
To make the training feel as real as possible the teams use weapons and ammo that are as close to the real thing as possible. While neither department wants to give away all of their tactical training secrets they do want the public to know they have them, and that they brush up on them as often as possible.
"We try to do different models; maybe not in a school setting, maybe in a theatre setting. We've done that one before; just different areas and different surroundings. That's kind of what makes reality based training more effective, when it comes to giving officers that exposure," said Sgt. Avery Leary.
During the training, both gunmen were taken out of the school peacefully. None of the hostages were shot or injured. In addition to the joint training, each of these departments also trains on their own. Shreveport police tell KSLA News 12 they get about three of these sessions in each year.