Omaha Police Recruits Train for School Shootings - FOX 42: Omaha News, Sports and Weather; kptm.com |

Omaha Police Recruits Train for School Shootings

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Meghan McRoberts

OMAHA (KPTM)-

Omaha Police continue to prepare for that dreaded moment: the possibility of another school shooting in Omaha.

Omaha Police trained 16 recruits on Thursday for an active shooting scenario at Pine Creek Elementary School in Bennington.

The training was planned before the Connecticut shooting, and police say the timing of the training is a "sad irony." Officers now have more reason to perfect the life-saving skills.

"With instances that do occur or have occurred nationally, it is important that our officers are prepared," said Recruit Academy Sergeant, Jake Ritonya.

Volunteer High School and College students filled in as victims of a shooting to give recruits a realistic scenario.

2 shooters fired blank shots, while students screamed, even grabbed at officers looking for the shooters.

Ritonya says they try not to teach recruits too specific of a plan, but rather, how to act on their instincts.

  "We could train them for hours and hours on holding a certain formation, but once the chaos starts more than likely they're not going to be able to maintain that," said Ritonya.

The training used to be reserved for SWAT teams, but now is given to first responders.

Recruits learn to corner a shooter, stop the violence, and then give help to anyone that is injured.

Ritonya says the department also does similar training in houses and other larger buildings.

"We always want to keep our recruits and our officers thinking ahead, thinking outside of the box of things that could occur."

It's training that the recruits and officers hope to never have to use, but Ritonya says the Department is prepared to use.

"In an uncertain or chaotic environment, it adds a little bit of certainty for them they know what to do."

Omaha started using this training after the shooting in Columbine, Colorado.

In- service officers can also ask for extra training.

The recruits will be on the streets in 3 weeks.

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