Dec 14, 2012 9:11 PM by Kathy Kuretich
On the day of the mass shooting in Connecticut, Santa Maria Police had already scheduled a training exercise for an active shooter.
About 15 to 16 officers took part at the old library in Santa Maria, where they were being trained to find and stop a shooter.
Chief Ralph Martin tells us this is done three to four times a year, because law enforcement needs to be ready for every scenario.
Tactics have changed considerably since the Columbine shooting in 1999, where officers were trained to wait until SWAT teams arrived.
That took 45 minutes, and during that time, ten more people died.
Now, officers are trained to team up and go in. Their primary objective, stop the shooter, even before tending to victims.
"If we have an active shooter situation going on, we need to identify where that shooter is or shooters and remove that threat, so we can eliminate that threat and then we start going about rendering aid about brining in medical help for those who may have been injured," said Sergeant Marc Schneider.
This is the way law enforcement across the country are now trained.
To make these scenarios as realistic as possible, Santa Maria Police practice at schools, during the summer, and over the weekends as well.
They said they want to be ready for any situation, especially involving children.
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