Inside Michigan State Police's active shooter simulation training ahead of back-to-school

Posted at 6:56 AM, Aug 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-26 06:56:45-04

(WXYZ) — As kids prepare to go back to school, law enforcement is preparing for any potential active shooter situations.

According to the K-12 Schools Shooting Database, the past school year had 11 active shooters inside schools in America, including November's shooting at Oxford High School where four students were tragically killed.

There was also May's shooting in Uvalde, Texas where 19 students and two teachers were killed.

We wanted to know what goes into the split-second decision officers have to make in those critical moments when there is an active shooter, so we looked at the training law enforcement agencies go through to prepare for an active shooter.

Our Peter Maxwell had a chance to go through the training with Michigan State Police, giving us an idea of just how real the training feels and what the first moments are like when police enter a building.

Every second counts during an active shooter event, and every gunshot could be an innocent life severely injured or killed.

"When the first people respond on the scene, you may be by yourself, but you're going to put that vest on and you're going to eliminate that threat," Lt. Mike Shaw from MSP said.

The need for training is a sad reality.

"We're going to use speed and we're going to use violence to eliminate that threat to keep our kids safe," Shaw said.

MSP invited us to their training facility in Livonia to experience this real-life simulation.

The training was intense and involved using airsoft pistols, goggles, and a bulletproof vest.

The goal was to find and take out the threat as fast as they could.

The sound of gunshots and screams echoed through the hallway as they tracked down the active shooter and eliminated the threat.

We also spoke with Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard about the importance of communication and training between different agencies. In Oakland County, that's called Oaktech.

"If one of the smaller Police departments is one of the first agencies to respond to an event and another agency comes from nearby, they know exactly how to flow together," Bouchard said. "They don't have to develop a plan because they've trained on the same platform."

As parents get ready to send their kids back to school, safety is a top priority for them.

"It's troubling as a parent to send your child somewhere all day and you think they're going to be safe so it's concerning," Cinnamon Ashford said. "I would like to see parents.. not parents but schools do take some type of measures to make sure their kids are safe in other areas."

The other big point law enforcement wants students and parents to know is if you see or hear something, say something.