Takoma Park Police Begin Annual Active Shooter Training
Department looking to partner with other agencies
The Takoma Park Police Department is starting to train yearly, rather than sporadically, to deal with active shooter encounters.
A four-day training program, which will include classroom and simulated scenarios, started this morning at John Nevins Andrews School, a private school that has closed and is vacant.
“It wasn’t prompted out of a specific incident as much as just the idea of recognizing that our community is certainly concerned,” Deputy Chief Antonio Williams said. “Certainly there’s a raised awareness for the need of active shooter training. Rather than wait for people to ask us for it, we said we’ll be proactive and do it ourselves.”
Officers will be using non-lethal training ammunition called simunitions, according to the department.
Last month at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, a false alarm about an active shooter triggered a lockdown on the Bethesda campus.
The Montgomery County Police Department conducts a number of active shooter training exercises in all of its districts, in addition to working with schools and businesses to prepare for these situations, police spokesman Capt. Tom Jordan said.
The department does not have defined annual activities but holds trainings with groups when they are available. Montgomery County police have more than 1,200 sworn officers assisted by 600 support personnel, responsible for a county of over 1 million people.
The Takoma Park department has 43 sworn officers assigned to a population of roughly 17,000 citizens. The department has conducted sporadic training in the past, but under Sgt. David Quante the initiative will now happen every year.
Once the officers complete the training they will reach out to the community to help citizens prepare as well, Williams said.
“Our next step really is to do some collaborative training as well with some of our allied agencies,” Williams said.