Law Enforcement Gets Active Shooter Training
Local law enforcement officers recently received active shooter training in hopes to impact future incidents.
The training was organized by Wetzel County Sheriffs Office Chief Deputy Mike Koontz and included WCSO, New Martinsville Police Department, and Tyler County Sheriffs Department.
The WCSO had a similar training approximately a year ago. Koontz explained that he decided “it was a good idea to follow-up with more training, especially with all the problems going on in this day.”
“I felt it was good if the department was trained a whole to respond to these types of incidents, Koontz said, adding that the training could apply to both schools and workplaces.
Koontz said the WCSO had one of their own deputies, K-9 Handler Roger Spragg, trained as an instructor.
“Utilizing the resources in our department, we organized a training and invited members of other local agencies,” Koontz explained.
Coincidentally, the training occurred on Oct. 1 at West Virginia Northern Community College’s New Martinsville campus, the same day as the deadly shooting at a community college in Oregon.
Koontz explained there was classroom training at Northern Community College and then the second part of the training involved drills at the old Bill Forbes garage in New Martinsville.
“We did incorporate the use of simulated firearms to make the training seem more realistic,” Koontz said, adding that the sheriff’s office was very eager to incorporate the other police departments in the training.
“If something occurs in New Martinsville, it’s very likely a a deputy and two patrolman, or two deputies and a patrolman, will respond. If we train together, we are better equipped to work together, he said.
Koontz said that while the sheriff’s department has a Special Response Team, the team can only be so big. The SRT also takes time to assemble.
“They are on duty constantly,” Koontz said. “If a situation like this occurs, response needs to be quick. The people responding are those who are on duty, which is why we want to try to move toward training the whole department and equipping the department with the tools to respond to these incidents.”
“All the officers I talked to, considered it a very good training, and an interactive training is better than classroom,” Koontz noted, adding the sheriff’s office anticipates following this recent training up with more trainings, hopefully once or twice a year.