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'We are preparing for the worst': Utah officers train for active school shooter scenario



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

ROY — Officers from five police agencies across the Wasatch Front are at Roy High School this week for some critical active shooter training.

This type of training is even more paramount at a time when mass shootings across the country have been at the forefront.

"We are trying to get the training as realistic as possible," said Chief Matthew Gwynn with the Roy Police Department. "What we are training for is first and foremost, to stop the killing and then to stop the dying. We are preparing for the worst."

The week-long instruction is put on by a non-profit organization called ALERRT, which stands for Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training. A federal grant allowed instructors to travel across the country to train officers from a variety of police departments.

Roy police sponsored the training.

The 11 officers being trained come from Roy, Riverdale, Ogden, Harrisville, and Salt Lake City police departments. They are learning everything from when the call goes out to arriving on scene, to entry into the building or school, to taking out the threat and helping to save the victims.

Part of the training includes suiting up in SWAT gear and using training handguns and rubber bullets to simulate real-life situations. Officers will then take what they've learned back to their departments to teach other officers.

"It's critical. It's absolutely critical," said Gwynn. "We want the community to know that our officers are training to do this. We want the community to know that we have this great working relationship with the school district."

Roy High principal Matt Williams said not a day goes by when he doesn't think about the safety of the 1,800 kids who fill his hallways throughout the school year. That's why he's very glad for the training.

"I love everything about it," said Williams. "As we come together as a team and start thinking the same I think we can save people, save lives."

That can only happen with a lot of practice.

"The biggest thing is building confidence," said Gwynn. "When you go on scene and there is an active shooter that is going to be pretty nerve-wracking. So we want to build confidence."

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Dan Rascon

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