The University of Toledo Police Department is hosting active shooter training all week to instruct officers from UTPD, as well as area police departments, on how to enter a building by themselves when a shooter is inside. The training is known as RAIDER: Rapid Deployment, Awareness, Intervention, Decisiveness, EMS and Recovery.
Officers had their building entry and search training from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday in the old Veterans Affairs Building located at 3303 Glendale Avenue. They also learned techniques in classrooms at UT, as well as the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.
After the Columbine tragedy, the response of police officers to situations with shooters has evolved. Before, the first officer to arrive on the scene would call for backup and wait for SWAT. They then began using the quad method, in which the first four officers on the scene would enter the building.
Now, in order to get into a dangerous building faster and potentially save more lives, UTPD and Response Options are taking initiative and training officers how to enter the building alone and neutralize a shooter situation.
Although the guns did not have real bullets and the officers were acting, what they are preparing for is the possibility of something very real: the threat of an active shooter.
"Seconds matter when there's an active killer in a building, on your campus, and we need to get in, neutralize the threat as quickly as possible, and save lives," said Sgt. Doug Perry with UT police.
Since Monday, officers from UT, Bowling Green State University and other departments have been working side by side at the firing range, in the classroom, and in scenarios.
"It does increase your adrenaline. We try to make it as real, as live as possible, to give you as much of a realistic experience as possible," said Perry.
Airsoft bullets were flying while a single officer was hustling through the chaos to try to get to the threat.
"Upon my approach to the area, I saw victims. I tried to gather intel, ask who was there, if they had a gun - which they did - what location where they at, I tried to obtain a description," explained Perry.
In the past, departments like UT were trained to respond to the threat of a shooter in groups of four. They are now switching over to the RAIDER method.
"We're going to be able to go back and teach our people what we learned all week long, and that's gonna make a safer environment for the campus and the community, along with the other 16 instructor candidates that are here," said Perry.
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