Local Police Reviewing Police Training After Thousand Oaks Shooting

One local official says the goal is to save more lives.

Brad Choat
November 08, 2018 - 12:06 pm

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Changes were made after Columbine, and again after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Florida, in regards to how first-responders approach a mass-shooting scene.

Now comes another deadly mass shooting, this time at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California.

Related: Marine combat veteran kills 12 in California bar shooting

David Hayes of the Southwestern Illinois Law Enforcement Commission says it's been quite a shift from the old days.

"Police entered the hot zones by themselves while fire and EMS waited down the street when the hot zone was declared safe," Hayes told KMOX's Brad Choat. "That's not the case anymore."

Hays says credit is due to the fire and EMS industries for adapting their protocols to allow entry into buildings where a shooter may still be active. He also says police have been training more and more with fire and EMS agencies on what needs to be done at mass shooting scenes.

However, that training needs to happen frequently due to changing guidelines. Luckily, Hayes says he doesn't know of a police agency in his seven-county region that hasn't kept up with the training.

"You're going to show up on the scene with officers from different agencies you've never worked with," Hayes explained. "And you need to depend on their training to look like the same training that you've received so you can work together. Because there's not a lot of time to think."

Regardless, Hayes says the days of just simply waiting for SWAT to show up are over.

Related: Officer killed in California bar shooting described as hero