Some educators and law enforcement officers from northwest Ohio are taking part in an active shooter training course Tuesday.
It's being offered by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. The course is free and is being offered in partnership with the attorney general's Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, as well as the Ohio Department of Education.
Training includes insight to identify the actions of a potential shooter before the crime begins. Also covered is how to respond in a school shooting situation. Organizers also played 911 calls from school shootings, showed pictures of terrified children and gave accounts of how planning - or lack there of - could made the difference between lives saved and lives lost.
Participants say the training is completely out of the realm of what they were dealing with 20 years ago with just fire drills. Still, they say no matter how sad the reality is, they just have to prepare in case the unthinkable happens at their schools.
"If somebody is walking into that school building with a gun, they are walking into that school building to kill. There's no other way around that," said James Burke, a law enforcement training officer.
Sandy Hook, Chardon, Columbine, Virginia Tech are four separate, horrific days in history, in which active shooters walked into classrooms shooting and killing students and educators. It changed the way our nation views safety in schools.
"It's disturbing to see the actual pictures, but I think it's important because it makes it real," said Ann McVey, superintendent of Bowling Green Schools.
"It would be a crime to not look back at some of these incidents and learn from them, and see, well, maybe what we're doing isn't the best option all the time," said Burke.
It's Burke's job to help the school officials, teachers and officers start thinking about the plans they have in place and how they can be adapted, should they find themselves face to face with an active shooter.
"Not just lock down, but barricade. And maybe lock down isn't the best option at this point. If we need to look at evacuating, then we need to look at evacuating. But we've got to open our minds, and come out of the box a little bit that says, lock down is the one and only thing we do," said Burke.
Burke says times are changing. People that want to harm others are evolving, as well. The best way to combat the possibility is by thinking, planning and acting.
"We're seeing more and more of these incidents. But it's not a mindset of trying to be paranoid, or anything like that. It's a mindset of being prepared. And the better prepared we are, the more lives we can save," said Burke.
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