ENID, Okla. — Multiple law enforcement agencies from Garfield County and surrounding areas completed training this week on active-shooter emergency response.
The training, organized by Oklahoma Highway Patrol, with the help from instructors from Louisiana State University, was 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday at Autry Technology Center, with the law enforcement members going through classroom-type learning and different scenarios.
Enid Police Department Capt. Gary Fuxa, one of the instructors, said the training helped ensure members of law enforcement know how to appropriately respond to these types of situations.
“There’s no one checklist or algorithm that’s going to tell if a person is going to be an active shooter,” Fuxa said. “It’s a rare event, but they are appearing to be on the rise, and we’re all going to have to work together to stop it.”
On June 22, 2022 — less than one month after the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting — Gov. Kevin Stitt implemented Mission: Secure Oklahoma Schools (S.O.S.), saying as governor, he will do everything in his power and to the best of his ability to prevent mass violence in the state.
“That begins with planning, preparation, training and providing law enforcement and schools with the tools needed to effectively do their job and keep our communities and schools safe,” Stitt said in the executive order.
Mission: S.O.S. requires all state troopers of the Department of Public Safety to successfully complete DPS-approved and CLEET-accredited law enforcement active shooter emergency response training — and requires all CLEET-certified basic academies to include the same training — by Jan. 1, 2023.
The executive order also calls for all other CLEET-certified officers to be offered the aforementioned training by July 1, 2023.
Similar active shooter emergency response training is something law enforcement agencies have undergone in the past, but this is a more “updated” version, said Lt. David Hellums with OHP’s Troop A.
Hellums, also one of the instructors, said about 10 different law enforcement agencies went through the training, with class sizes of about 33 each day.
Attendees learned how to best respond to an active-shooter situation.
“How to get in there, stop the threat, treat the wounded and clear the scene is pretty much what we’re teaching,” Hellums said.
Volunteers from Northern Oklahoma College helped with the different scenarios, roleplaying as both victims, witnesses and active shooters.
Officers would be told of what was occurring and respond and, after completing the scenario, receive feedback on how to better respond — entering and securing the room, locating and stopping the active shooter, helping victims, calling in backup and more.
“We’re always always trying to educate ourselves and the public, and to be better at serving the public,” Hellums said. “It’s something that most officers will get behind, and ... they want to be there in case something like this happens.”