CRANE, Texas — What looked like a real life response to an active shooter inside of a Crane school was only a simulation that was apart of an active shooter training for first responders.
"We thought it was important to collaborate with our state and local partners to discuss best practices, lessons learned, to really determine how we work as a community to prevent these active shooters," said Taekuk Cho, Deputy Special Agent In Charge with Homeland Security Investigations El Paso. "Because the ultimate goal at the end of the day is to save lives."
Today's training was set up and executed by the Homeland Security Investigations El Paso Special Response Team to make sure officers know what to do.
"We want to do everything we can as a federal law enforcement agency, as Homeland Security Investigations, to work with our community, to reach out to tell parents and kids 'hey law enforcement is working on this, we do have a plan to make sure you’re safe,'" said Cho. "Because as children, the last thing they should be worried about is their own safety at school."
But the training was about more than just the safety of students.
"This goes for not just kids, but also teachers," said Cho. "We want to ensure they feel there’s a plan in place in case something bad happens, law enforcement will not only respond but we will make sure that they are safe."
This training was also important to Crane County Sherriff Andrew Aguilar.
"With all the recent incidents, it seemed the perfect time for this to happen," said Aguilar.
Because in events like these, he said officers on all levels will have to come together and act fast.
"We want to make sure our officers are qualified," said Aguilar. "I think parents can feel confident that our officers are well trained, and that’s what we’re working for. We're working for the safety of the community, the students and staff. That’s why we do this."
With the safety of students and staff in mind, Superintendent of Schools, Stephanie Howard, said trainings will be an ongoing plan to keep everyone safe and prepared.
"We want our parents to feel comfortable sending their kids back to school," said Howard. "We ask they call with any questions or concerns. We’ll be doing training as our teachers come back to work and as our students come back to school and it’ll be an ongoing effort."
Cho said preparation and mindset are key.
"It’s about having that proper mindset," said Cho. "Knowing that these things happen and how to react and what’s gonna happen if it does happen."
The Crane School Board approved safety upgrades to be implemented. That includes controlled access, additional cameras for all buildings and facilities, an additional officer on campuses and upgraded radios to communicate with first responders in case of an emergency.