LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – The LaGrange Police Department held their annual active shooter training drills the week of Oct. 18-22, 2021. The drills provide officers with the opportunity to simulate and prepare for active shooter situations in the community.

Joshua Clower, the Sergeant of the Training Division for the LaGrange PD, said the annual active shooter training drills are held every year. Each officer in the department must participate in one, eight-hour session annually.

“The more training we can do with them, that way when the officers are faced with an incident on the street or a scenario, they have an option of how to deal with it. In my opinion, the more training you can do the better prepared you’re going to be when it takes place on the street,” said Clower.

Clower said the active shooter training drills are also held during the orientation phase for new recruits at the department. New recruits are presented with active shooter simulations in the police academy and the orientation phase is an extension of that.

During the annual active shooter training drills officers will run through about three to five active in-depth shooter simulations a day. During the quarterly trainings, it is more of a modular training where officers focus on individual things like taking a suspect into custody.

Clint Stephens, a Drug Investigator in the Special Investigations Unit for the LaGrange PD, has been part of the department for about 10 years. He said about five years ago the active shooter training drills began incorporating medical training where officers are taught to assist wounded people after a shooting.

“The people that we respond to these events for, they’re experiencing a traumatic event in their life at that point and us being able to stay calm because we’ve been exposed to those scenarios in a training environment has helped us keep that victim calm,” said Stephens.

Clint said he believes the scenarios benefit the public as a whole because community members can call on the police for criminal and medical emergencies.