YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Mahoning County Sheriff’s deputies were training Thursday on how to handle an active shooter. It was important training because they have to be prepared. The first officer on the scene has become the most important one to handle a serious situation like a school or workplace shooting.
“It seems like there might have been more fatalities when officers might have waited, whereas now it’s taught to engage immediately upon arrival,” said Steve McGeary, field operations Mahoning County Sheriff’s Department.
The training repeatedly took deputies through simulations of an active shooter but with no students or adults running around, creating additional chaos.
Jeff Saluga with the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Department instructed the deputies to stay calm. He said communication is very important between law enforcement so everyone knows where each officer is and what they are doing.
“The situation can go from zero to 100 in no time,” Saluga said.
Watch this video for tips on what to do during an active shooter situation.
The officers were learning how to clear a building, get a weapon away from someone, and even handcuff them. The guns weren’t real, but the practice was to prepare them for the real thing. Thursday’s drill was a simulated school shooting, and officers got a passing grade.
“Pretty good,” said McGeary. “Training is where you make mistakes and then we teach them how to correct those mistakes, so hopefully if they arrive on scene, they make the right calls,.” McGreary said.
Thursday’s training included three school resource officers, who are on campus all the time.