Story by Capt. Matthew Collins
205th Press Camp Headquarters
The state troopers were conducting a solo officer response to an active shooter exercise. The objective is to give individual officers experience in searching out, detecting and neutralizing the threat with as little hesitation as possible. An officer would play the role of the active shooter as the officers individually rotate into the training complex that is built like a maze. The officers navigated through the complex, cautiously working their way around corners until the shooter was discovered. Once the threat is spotted the officers must engage and subdue the assailant quickly. If necessary, the officers must conduct self aid such as applying tourniquets on themselves if the scenario required it. Afterwards the officer must radio in for support. More training methods are being implemented into police training to place officers in solo officer situations.
“They (the state troopers) have seen the evolution of teaching concepts, over the years to now where we’re empowering solo officers to be able to go in and take care of these threats.” said Matt Haviland, a Master Trooper of the Indiana State Police department Haviland along spent 13 years in SWAT. Haviland, with Indiana State Police, Master Trooper Jason Hankins, orchestrated the training and critiqued each officer as they completed their interation of the exercise.
State police officers are being trained in more solo officer exercises rather than team exercises. The officers work in rural areas and small towns, which will more likely place them in a solo officer situation during their shifts. “More often times than not, active shooters are going to be responded to by a solo officer,” Haviland said.
Active shooter training is designed to train the officer’s instincts and prepare them for an active shooter situation, should it occur. The officers came in prepared and executed the training, using the knowledge they’ve obtained throughout their career in law enforcement and Master Trooper Havilane was satisfied with what he observed, “They’ve done excellent. Actually this has been a building block of things that they get from the time that they’re in the academy.” At the end of the training exercise, Haviland also expressed how pleased he was with the Muscatatuck training facility, “I love training here, it’s a great facility.” The Indiana State Police officers leave the Muscatatuck training facility wet from rain, clothes stained with paint and confident that they would react quickly and correctly in an active shooter situation.