LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Dozens of police officers and the sounds of gunshots and explosions might startle some northwest Las Vegas residents Thursday morning, but it’s only a drill.
Police officers from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the Clark County School District will be conducting active shooter training at Thomas O’Roarke Elementary School located at 8455 O’Hare Road, bordered by Durango Drive and Bonita Vista Street. The school is near Floyd Lamb Park.
The Las Vegas community is all too familiar with the tragedy of a mass shooting. Sixty people died and hundreds were injured at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on the Las Vegas Strip on October 1, 2017. It is the most deadly mass shooting in modern history.
There has been a wave of high-profile mass shootings this year. Most recently, A shooting left 21 dead at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
“I can assure you no matter what agency responds, no matter what uniform you see, like in this training today there are other agencies besides Metro and school police participating. The officers as soon as they get there will not wait. They will go in, not hesitate, find the suspect and do whatever they need to do to stop the killing inside of that school,” said Capt. Reggie Rader, who oversees training for Metro.
A Texas House committed determined there were numerous “systemic failures” that occurred in the response to the Uvalde shooting.
Rader said Metro officers undergo active shooting training regularly and have been doing it for years and this school drill is part of that. He said the goal is to make the training as realistic as possible.
WATCH: Metro released this edited video clip of a small portion of the training exercise.
“There will be simulated gunfire, some simulated explosions and we have over 50 role players with our explorers and our Metro volunteers who will be acting as teachers for the school as well as children for the school,” he said.
Capt. Radar said the ongoing training ensures that all officers have the same knowledge and tactics of how to handle an active shooter.
Although 376 officers responded to the Uvalde school shooting, the scene was disorganized and chaotic and there didn’t seem to be leadership. It was more than an hour before officers entered the classroom where the gunman was holed up.
“God forbid, if something like this does happen in our valley, our officers will not hesitate, they will not flinch, they will act quickly and decisively, and take action,” Capt. Radar said.
Capt. Rader said Metro began active shooting training after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India in 2008.
“This training is mandatory for every officer to go through each year. So far this year, we’ve trained 1,500 officers in the valley,” he said.
A doctrine was developed after the 1999 Columbine High School shooting that dictates officers immediately confront active shooters to stop the shooting.