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Easton Police Officers Train For the Worst

Officers were in Oliver Ames High School this week to take part in "Active Shooter" training.

Jason Brennan of the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council scrolled through slides Thursday morning at Oliver Ames High School to train Easton police officers for an "active shooter" scenario.

The object was simple: mentally and physically prepare for the worst.

"It [could be] just a horrific scene," Brennan said. "And, for us to go in there, if we're not mentally prepared for it, that's a bad situation."

Brennan, who also serves as a Sergeant in Medway, led a training session along with Easton Police Officer Steve Hamilton to prepare Easton and Stonehill officers to face a potential gunman in a building.

With February vacation in full swing, Easton School Administrators allowed for use of the high school. The sessions were held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

After the lecture, officers took to OA's hallways to put the techniques to practice. They worked together in groups with instructors focused on formations and communication.

Members of MetroLEC simulated gunfire with paint cartridge pistols as the Easton cops patrolled the hallways for a live action "stress test."

Brennan also focused on mental preparation.

From what to do upon entering a building, to what equipment is necessary, to what to do in the case of a fallen comrade, officers were challenged to think.

"That's where most police officers fail," he said. "We don't fail on the physical end. We fail on the psychological end."

"It’s a great thing to learn and a great thing to do," Hamilton added. "It’s not so much that it has to happen in the school system. It could happen down at the market place tomorrow morning – someone could go in the hair salon and there would be an active shooter in there."

The training sessions were spurred, however, by December's tragedy in Newtown Conn. in which an active shooter killed 20 Sandy Hook Elementary School students.

"The biggest thing about Sandy Hook, unfortunately is that there were small, small children and it did come up to the forefront," Hamilton said. "Unfortunately it’s been that way with Columbine and Virginia Tech...When we had the small little children, it hit hearts across the nation."

Hamilton said he was happy the school was being made available for the officer training.

In the wake of the massacre, Easton Superintendent Dr. Michael Green met with administrators and first responders to discuss district emergency plans.

"You’re seeing more schools and police meshing and trying to work out the big plans and organize and have pre-plans done, which is great," Hamilton said.  "More and more towns and more and more schools are working together."

To view video from the training, click here.

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