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KSL gets inside look as police train to take out school shooters


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ROY — During a training session at Roy Jr. High School Thursday, police gave the media a look at how they handle some of the most dangerous situations.

It was the first time reporters were allowed to participate in Rapid Response Training, and I to experience some of the tension the officers go through.

Rapid Response Training prepares officers to quickly eliminate a school shooter. Already, more than 32,000 officers have been trained through a similar program nationwide.


It's been really intense, a lot more intense than I thought.

–Gina Butters, Roy High School principal


Roy Police Chief Greg Whinham says these types of situations are "rare, unless you look at the big picture; then they happen every day."

Roy High School Principal Gina Butters decided she and her vice principals needed this training after having two students arrested for allegedly trying to blow up a bomb at the school.

"It just became clear to me that there was a few questions I needed answered, of how to proceed under certain circumstances," Butters said.

And with the simulations involved in the training put into play, the stakes felt higher.

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"It's been really intense, a lot more intense than I thought," Butters said.

As my group started to scan through the halls of the school, there were victims on the floor. Then the suspect walked out with a gun, his back to us and not responding to commands.

We ended up shooting the suspect in the back, and again on the ground. It's a scenario Roy's police chief acknowledges could easily draw criticism in the public eye.

"In that process, the communication between the person trying to explain and someone who's not been there, there's always going to be judgement," Whinham said.

But it gave us an eye-opening look at the tough decisions police officers have to face when put in life-and-death situations.

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