The past few years, the school shootings occurring nationwide have taught police officers valuable lessons regarding police response. First responding officers must be trained and mentally conditioned to quickly respond to calls reporting possible threats.
In order to train officers for these situations, the Antioch Police Department hosted a training seminar for more than 300 officers from nine departments, including officers from Antioch, Lake County Sheriff's Office, Lake Villa, Lindenhurst, Park City, Lakemoor, Tower Lakes, Lake County Forest Preserve and College of Lake County.
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Lake County Sheriff's Deputy Rob Briggs, a 12-year veteran police officer, led the program. The training's focus was aimed at conditioning officers for rapid deployment during in-progress incidents involving active shooters.
In an active shooting, time is of the essence. Officers do not have time to stage and develop an operations plan when someone is actively shooting people.
By cross training with local departments, officers from other agencies are trained to quickly team up with each other and deploy common tactics to seek out and end any given threat.
This rapid response approach has proved to be the most effective way to reduce casualties and restore order.
The training was practical and involved classroom instruction. Training occurs in a realistic setting where officers are placed under intense stress through the use of role players and simulations, similar to the firing of blank rounds.
The officers learn to breach fortified doors, search and clear rooms, and seek and confront the threat in a safe and effective manner.
Local Antioch restaurants that supported the training included Mr. G's and Anastasias, while Red Dot Arms of Lake Villa supplied tools needed for the training.
"This dynamic and practical training is geared to prepare responding officers to effectively address active shooter situations," Antioch Police Chief Craig Somerville said.
"It enables officers from different agencies to quickly assemble and utilize common tactics," he added. "I commend the Lake County Sheriff's Office and all the participating departments for supporting this training. It is good for all of our communities."