The Fort Stockton Police Department held an active shooter simulation last week at Fort Stockton Middle School.
The point of the simulation was to prepare the department in case of an active shooter situation, familiarize them with the outline of the schools in the city and introduce new officers to the tactics they use.
“We want to make sure that everyone is on the same page,” said Chief Ryan Skelton.
Other agencies are also invited to simulation so they can all compare how they will work together if anything were to happen.
Last year the Fraternal Order of Eagles bought the equipment for the department so they are able to run these simulations.
They use live-fire weapons with paintballs so they can up the adrenaline to really mimic an active shooter situation the best they can.
“I mean you never know what you're going to be coming up against,” said Skelton.
Some of the past simulations included teachers so they would recognize the sound of a gunshot. Many teachers reported not being able to recognize a gunshot versus other explosive sounds like the backfire of a car or fireworks.
The simulations also focused on the time it takes to eliminate the threat.
In the past, it was custom to wait outside a few minutes for backup, but now the officers are instructed to enter the building as soon as they arrive.
“When you get here you go,” said Skelton. “Minutes are lives.”
There have been at least eight school shootings in 2019, according to the New York Times.
After the simulation, the officers sit down and talk about what happened.
“You can never prepare completely,” said Skelton. “But it makes you think about it and about what I could have done better.”