Private school also benefiting from recent Odessa Police Department training

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Odessa SWAT officers used a private school for their most recent training, but they weren't the only ones paying attention to movements and commands.

"Sadly, it's a reality that we live in today. We have to prepare for these situations," said Benjamin Villarreal, Principal, St. Mary's Central Catholic School.

Yes, the officers are the ones barking out the orders but don't be fooled their most recent training was for everyone, Odessa SWAT, students, and staff.

"It's beneficial for them and it's beneficial for us. There's an increase as everyone knows in violence on campuses on all levels," said Elaine Randolph, Music Teacher, St. Mary's Central Catholic School.

Thursday afternoon, everyone got a crash course on procedures and tactical plans. Plans, everyone would be crystal clear on in case of an emergency.

"What goes through my head is, what can I do to better prevent these situations," said Villarreal.

Villarreal is the principal at the private school in Odessa. Recently, he's worked with OPD to get whatever training the officers and his staff need. Training that helps with the safety of everyone who visits the school.

"Probably in a day span, 400 people walk through these halls," said Villarreal.

During the afternoon portion of the training, officers looked for and caught a suspected gunman while helping students who were and were not hurt.

"It crushing because their innocence is shattered. They should never have to experience something like that in a school. School is for learning," said Randolph.

Sadly, there have been threats at schools locally in the Basin, school officials are thankful nothing more.

Even though it may be tough to think about, training like this hopefully will keep everyone on their toes.

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