Delaware Co. officers and first responders partner for active shooter training

MUNCIE, Ind. -- Ball State University Police Department is holding an active shooter training annually for officers and first responders in Delaware County. Thursday, they wrapped up at Northside Middle School for a false report of an active shooter.

It’s a two-phase training. Phase-one is four hours in the classroom learning about the different situations. Phase-two is in a real-life situation where officers and emergency personnel can put those skills to use.

But the overall goal is to work collectively regardless of the different agencies.

In many of these scenarios, the first officer on the scene may not be from the same agency. It may be someone from the sheriff’s department and a Ball State officer. It may a Ball Hospital officer and a Ball State Officer. It’s really good to get familiar working with each other, be on the same page, learn the same techniques and training methods, it’s really beneficial,” said Ball State Police Chief, James Duckham.

Training involved, Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, Muncie Police Department, IU Ball Memorial Health Police, and dispatch. It’s meant to help coordination of the teams in the midst of chaos and help crews learn how to deal with trauma and disaster.

“In a real life situation, you never know if you’re going to be the first one there or the fifth one there. You don’t know what role you’re going to take on,” said Delaware County Sheriff Tony Skinner.

Sheriff Skinner knows the effects of role-playing. During the training, he acted like a victim who was shot in the leg. “If you’re a victim in a situation like this, the officers are going to go in and go directly to the threat initially. So, whether you’re injured or you think you’re injured or you need help. They’re going to bypass you and go deal with the threat directly,” said Sheriff Skinner.

But this training is already performed in the everyday roles of many of the first responders. A few years ago many students were on high alert when there a false report of a man with a rifle on campus.

“Like that nerf gun incident was where someone reported a student had a long gun on campus. It turned out to be a nerf gun. So, we would put exactly what we learned today into play in that incident,” said Ball State University Chief of Police, Jim Duckham.

Now it’s all about creating a better chain of communication from start to finish.

“Now we’ve got to worry about the aftermath. What are we going to do with 600 kids in a school, what are we going to do with 50 people who are injured,” said Training Coordinator, Lt. David Bell.

Ball State says they hold this training annually and all first responders and officers are welcomed. Just reach out to the Ball State Police Department.

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