BISHOP, Texas — Due to the pandemic, many active shooter trainings were put on hold. This weekend a new wave of law enforcement gathered at Bishop High School to get back to learning the latest in this training.
“Very eye-opening for the amount of stress, even during the training, that you’re going to go through,” Nueces County Constable Pct. 3 Chief Deputy Billy Durbin said.
Durbin is one of the handful of law-enforcement or emergency-services members who went through active-shooter training for the first time.
The training is put on by the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) through a grant.
It was the amount of communication needed that Durbin took away from the training.
"One of the things that I've learned from, is the amount of teamwork needed from officers who are responding to the call," he said. "As for the initial officer who arrives on scene, is the amount of information that you have to take in and relay to the officers who are responding."
Participants went through classroom sessions before taking part in active-shooter simulations. The scenarios were based on real-life active-shooter situations that took place, like the shooting at Pulse Night Club in Orlando, Florida. Officers rotated who would take the lead on the simulation.
“I want these guys to have that confidence in themselves that, 'Hey, I can go in there and take care of the situation and not be afraid,' " said Pct. 3 deputy Justin Martinez, who also served as an instructor. "Like I said, some of our guys who’ve had a year on are doing great here."
"Emotions get high, our stress levels rise," said instructor John Deleon, from the Alice Police Department. "And always remember to breathe, and try to remember the basics. Basic firearms training, basic medical, and to talk.”
Active-shooter trainings remain an unfortunate, but necessary training, Deleon said.
“We’re seeing the increase of active-shooter events within schools and staff," said Deleon. "You know, you’ve got the naval stations and stuff. We need to get the people trained up and prepared for what could happen.”
“The school shootings we’ve had, including those that are here in Texas, being part of a small community on the south side of Nueces county, we need to make sure we are doing everything we can to protect the several schools that are in the area," Durbin said.
Now that training has resumed, Martinez said the plan is to hold more classes for any law enforcement in the Coastal Bend that needs it.