ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Active shooter response trainings are crucial across the state of Texas. Officers of the Odessa Police Department and Ector County Independent School District trained with the ALERRT program at Noel Elementary Magnet School to prepare for the worst.
"Very dangerous job, very important job, but we understand in this situation, we got to put ourselves in between the bad person and the innocent people," said Sergeant Tommy Villanueva of the San Marcos Police Department.
Villanueva is an instructor for Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, also known as ALERRT. It's an active shooter response program at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. It started in 1999 after the Columbine attacks. Villanueva has been with the program for almost 13 years.
"I have kids that go to school, I have a wife who works," said Villanueva. "I would want the local law enforcement, wherever that may be to be able to have the tactics and knowledge to be able to stop this as quickly as possible."
He said law enforcement officials must learn proper tactics in order to prepare. If an active shooter is present in any situation, and when police or dispatch is notified, that is when law enforcement training takes over.
Scenarios are performed in classrooms along with training equipment to make the experience as lifelike as possible. Thursday's drill is an active shooter level one training which trained for two days.
"We have six different scenarios that we set up that we picked from throughout history that have occurred and utilize those to help the officers deal with certain problems," he said.
Villanueva said at the end of the day, the training can help save innocent lives.
"Moving to the sounds of gunfire, moving to the sounds of screaming, moving to the sounds of something to draw them in there to put themselves between and the bad guy and the innocent people, that's our main goal."
He said the key points he advises to officers is to stay together, communicate, and move aggressively, quickly, and swiftly to any sounds of killing.